Reaching for Mars, and Gaza


Missing home: Loay Elbasyouni showing his space photos at his home in Santa Monica.He also helped design Ingenuity, which made history by flying on Mars for the first time in 2021. — Los Angeles Times/TNS

FROM his modest home office in Santa Monica last month, Loay Elbasyouni prepared to review rocket engine designs during a meeting on Blue Moon, a spacecraft that in the not-too-distant future will launch astronauts to the moon to explore the surface of its southern pole.

Nasa’s Artemis V mission, scheduled for 2029, is fifth in a planned series of efforts to return to Earth’s lone natural satellite for the first time since the Apollo programme. And it’s not Elbasyouni’s first foray into space exploration.

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