- NASA Watch
- November 21, 2022
Once Upon A Time NASA Told Tales Of Human Exploration
My Star Trek Episode at Everest
“In late April 2009 I found myself at Everest Base Camp for a month. I was living at 17,600 feet in Nepal 2 miles from China and 2 miles from the highest point on our planet. I was surrounded by the epic majesty of the Himalayas, a thousand people supporting several hundred Type A individuals with a shared intent to summit the mountain and stand in the jet stream. And all of this was enabled by the austere and noble Sherpa people. I was on a mission not unlike a space mission. My team mate was my long-time friend Scott Parazynski, an astronaut.
I could just stop there and what is in these sentences would be cool enough. This had all the makings of a Star Trek episode – and I knew it.”
Keith’s note: After posting the two items above, I had to toss this in. There is something about “being there” when it comes to exploration. May 2009. Everest Base Camp. It was -20F or so, I was sick with food poisoning which eventually led to some permanent physical damage that affects me to this day, at 17,600 feet breathing half the oxygen I was designed to breathe, while one friend was standing atop Everest above the sky, while another (who was supposed to be with us) was in his laundry room in New York – all linked by radio and satellite. Another mutual friend was in orbit fixing Hubble. This was one of those life-altering moments – and we all wanted to share it. We still do.
NASA used to have a lot of these moments. Now … not so many. That needs to change.
Maybe the new guy will fix that. Someone has to.