After a long journey between space and Earth, archived in records, a new astronomical history has been created after converting the 1978VA6 asteroid name to El-Baz.
His name was not only written in the pages of history but, carved into the events of the universe after NASA named him the “King” for his brilliant contributions in the most celebrated moon landing of the Apollo 11.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) of the United Nations named the asteroid after the Egyptian scientist Farouk El-Baz in recognition of his efforts in easing the exploration of the moon.
He is the first geologist to analyze the moon from Earth, preparing astronauts for the historic Apollo 11 moon landing and guiding them to select the appropriate samples, including 21 kilograms of moonstones and soil for analysis.
He received a B.S. in chemistry and geology from Ain Shams University. In 1961, he received a M.S. degree in geology from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Rolla, MO. In 1964 he received a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Missouri-Columbia after researching 1962-1963 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge MA.
El-Baz is known for his work with NASA were he assisted in the planning of scientific exploration of the Moon, including the selection of landing sites for the Apollo missions and the training.
His research on deserts in Africa, the Middle East, China and elsewhere helped understand the origin and evolution of the desert.
He received several awards, notably the Apollo Achievement Award, as well as managing the Center for Space Physics (CSP) at Boston University for 32 years.
El-Baz was also awarded the 2018 Inamori Ethics Prize and the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal.
The astronomer is currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors of the Arab International Investor Forum.
Contributed by Taarek Rafaat