Exploration: May 2009 Archives

Scott Parazynski: Still on Cloud 10

"Just six days ago I'd wearily downclimbed to Everest's base camp. As I sat in a small blue tent that evening tenuously perched over one particularly malodorous barrel, a loud rockslide thundered directly towards me. I briefly thought of the irony of it all: I had finally summited "The Mountain of My Dreams", only to succumb to a tragic potty accident. Think of all the eulogy possibilities! The intense days of my Everest summit climb, the long descent and my return to Kathmandu's "civilization" have zoomed by, but the key details remain as vivid as the photographs and video we took on top. Simply stated, Everest was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, physically and mentally, but strangely enough this was also my ultimate reward. Some things just don't have to make sense."

Keith's note: Scott and I are headed home (ahead: 24 hrs in transit). After a hectic day yesterday flying from Lukla (imagine taking of from a steeply pitched aircraft carrier stuck in the mountains) to Kathmandu we cleaned up, argued with Qatar Airways, made the traditional pilgrimage to the Rum Doodle Bar, and then rode home in a rickshaw. I want to thank Marc Boucher and Frank Sietzen for keeping the home fire burning here at NASA Watch - and Miles O'Brien for all of his help supporting Scott and I while we were at Everest.

Scott Parazynski and other IMG climbers reach the summit of Mt. Everest on 20 May 2009 at 3:55 am local time. OnOrbit video by Danuru Sherpa of Phortse, Nepal.

Two more videos

Image: An Astronaut Holds Apollo 11 Moon Rocks atop Mt. Everest with the Moon High Above

More images

Discovery Channel: "Our first Everest team reached the summit early this morning and we have Sherpa Cam footage beamed straight from the summit to your computer in record time. These videos were sent to us by Keith Cowing two to three hours max after summit. Discovery Channel along with the Everest climbers and crew members are proud to present what is probably the first and only footage of a successful summit attempt so close to the actual climb." [Watch the videos at Discovery]

Scott is now on his way down the mountain to a lower Camp.

Astronaut Scott Parazynski and his Sherpa Danuru are standing on the summit of Mt. Everest as of 6:15 pm EDT - 4 am Nepal time

Scott was at the south summit of Mt Everest 8,750 m (28,700 ft) at 2:35 am local time.

8:26 pm Nepal time: Scott has just departed Camp IV and is headed for the summit of Mt. Everest ETA 5 am Nepal time/7 pm EDT - perhaps earlier.

Updates at onorbit.com/everest

Scott is using his SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker to check in. You can follow his progress all the way to the summit by checking his personal tracking page . Select "terrain" to see how close he is getting to the summit of Mt. Everest.

As you can see from this SPOT update, Scott is now on his way to Camp IV (South Col) at an elevation of 7,920 meters (26,000 ft). The summit is still a bit away at 8,848 meters (29,029 ft). Scott is using his SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker to check in. You can follow his progress all the way to the summit by checking his personal tracking page . Select "terrain" to see how close he is getting to the summit of Mt. Everest.[More]

Keith's note: Scott's summit window still focuses on a 7-8 pm 19 May / 5-6 am Local time 20 May summit. Scott is walking up to the jetstream. The rest of y'all need airplanes and rockets to do that. Dig it.

Star Trek On Orbit

NASA Astronaut to Watch New Star Trek Movie Among the Stars

"Moviegoers likely will sit in crowded theaters to watch the new "Star Trek" movie, which premiered on May 8, but not NASA astronaut Michael Barratt. He will have the opportunity to watch the film aboard the International Space Station, while he and two crewmates fly 220 miles above Earth. The only thing missing will be the popcorn. Paramount Pictures transferred "Star Trek" to NASA's Mission Control in Houston, which then uplinked the film to the space station on Thursday, May 14. Barratt plans to watch the film on a laptop computer inside the Unity module".

Keith's note: Scott is scheduled to call his friend Mike Barratt from the summit of Mt. Everest sometime around 7-8 pm EDT on 19 May/5-6 am Nepal time on 20 May. Ever wonder what sort of photos Scott will pose for while on the summit? Stay tuned.

Scott Parazynski Talks to the Crew of the International Space Station from Everest Base Camp
Singing Sherpas Serenade Space Station Crew Member

Update 10:00 am Nepal time 9 May: Scott is back at Everest Base Camp - disappointed - but otherwise doing fine.

Update 9:11 am Nepal time 9 May: Weather conditions atop Mt. Everest have become unacceptable for further ascent at this time. Scott and other climbers have begun to descend from Camp II and should be back here at Everest Base Camp any moment now.

Update from Camp II: Resting, Science, and Photography

"Keith Cowing: I just spoke with Scott at Camp II by radio . He sounds cheerful, rested -- and excited. Scott is currently on a rest day before tomorrow's push to Camp III - but he is not just "resting".

IMG Update: Avalanche and Rescue Effort in Khumbu Icefall
Massive Avalanche Over The Lower Khumbu Icefall (images, video)

"Keith Cowing: There was a massive avalanche off of the west shoulder of Mt. Everest this morning. Within a very short period of time the entire lower Khumbu Icefall was enveloped in pulverized ice and snow."

Track Scott's progress via SPOT here.
More info at onorbit.com/everest
Follow Scott on Twitter at SPOTscott

Editor's update: At 12:14 Nepal time Scott radioed in to Base Camp that he had arrived at Camp II.

Editor's note: Scott is on his way to the summit of Mt Everest. He departed IMG Base Camp just after 4 am local time this morning (7 May) with his Sherpa guide Danuru. The moon was out and the sky was crystal clear. ETA at the summit is 7-8 pm EDT 10 May (5-6 am 11 May Nepal time).

Track Scott's progress via SPOT here.
More info at onorbit.com/everest
Follow Scott on Twitter at SPOTscott

This video was taken on 17 April 2009 at Camp 2 on Mount Everest at 21,500 feet. In it, IMG climber Scott Parazynski talks live via satellite phone Michael Barratt aboard the International Space Station on the occasion of his 50th birthday. In the background are three sherpas - the middle one, Danuru, will accompany Scott to the summit. Together they are known as the "Singing Sherpas". Video courtesy of Ed Wardel.

More info at onorbit.com/everest

Editor's note: News reports that Lori Garver is in charge of a re-look at Project Constellation and that Pete Worden is in charge of an ESAS re-look are not true according to utterly reliable sources within NASA who are most certainly in a position to know.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from May 2009.

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