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Exploration

One Year Ago An Astronaut Walked Into The Jet Stream – And To The Summit of Mt. Everest

By Keith Cowing
May 20, 2010
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Keith’s note: Exactly one year ago I had the profound and life-altering privilege to live at Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 17,500 feet for a month so as to watch – and listen – and report – as my friend Scott Parazynski walked up into the Jet Stream to the summit of Mt. Everest. In the ensuing year, not a week goes by without one of us sending an email to the other noting that we still think about this epic part of our lives every day. Together with our friends Miles O’Brien and Bob Jacobs and the good folks at NASA HQ PAO, we sought to bring this experience to as many people as we possibly could using all manner of Internet, social media, and satellite toys – er tools.
Yes, if you look at the photo closely (larger view) you will see that Scott carried my first NASA badge from 1990 and a picture of astronaut Suni Williams’ famous space dog Gorbie to the summit – all held together with authentic NASA duct tape.
The video below captures a moment in time shortly after Scott reached the summit. Our fervent hope in this era of “participatory exploration” and “citizen science” is that we helped to set the standard for how NASA will document and relay its future accomplishments to the world.
FWIW Charlie Bolden, you are not the only person who gets misty-eyed.
More information on the summit bid is online here. For those of you in the Houston area, Scott will be making a presentation on his climb at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Thursday, 20 May. Please try and stop by. No doubt he will continue to spread utter lies about my experiences with the yaks of Nepal.
I carried an Apollo 11 Moon rock with me from America to Nepal and then to Everest Base Camp. Scott then carried it to the summit of Mt. Everest. We’re still arguing as to which one of us has a world record for the amount of time that a Moon rock was in intimate proximity to our body. In either case, this year the Moon rock and a piece of the summit of Everest was carried into orbit on STS-130 to the ISS where it resides now.
Multiple historic and exploration resonances abound – just as they should since Neil Armstrong and Edmund Hillary were friends.
Ad astra y’all.
Exclusive Video: Scott Parazynski on Summit of Mt. Everest

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.