On June 4, explorer Victor Vescovo was one of the six members of Blue Origin’s New Shepherd-21 crew, which launched into space for a suborbital flight. The capsule reached an altitude of 107 kilometers (66.5 miles) above sea level, going beyond the traditional edge of space of 100 kilometers (62 miles).
The trip to space and back took 10 minutes and 53 seconds, reaching a speed of 3,604 kilometers per hour (2,240 miles per hour). Joining Vescovo, in this jaunt to space were Evan Dick, Katya Echazarreta, Hamish Harding, Victor Correa Hespanha, and Jaison Robinson. Echazarreta, who became the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American woman to fly to space was sponsored by the Space For Humanity initiative.
"The view was unbelievable," Victor Vescovo, who is a mountain climber, jet pilot, and submarine operator, said of the experience. "To see the complete curvature of the Earth, and seeing the thin skein of the atmosphere and this beautiful blue-and-brown planet that we have, and then the blackness of space and the brilliant sun. To have that right in front of you ... was truly a transformational experience."
IFLScience had the pleasure to sit down with Vescovo ahead of his flight, to discuss going to space. Vescovo told us about his deep exploration of the oceans, with his many past dives around the world, as well as his upcoming trips to the bottom of the sea. From one mystery to the next.
Vescovo is not the first person to have been to Challenger Deep – the deepest point in the Ocean in the Mariana Trench – and to space. Astronaut Kathy Sullivan and explorer Richard Garriot both went to space before diving down to the bottom of the ocean with Vescovo.