Victor Vescovo was one of six members of Blue Origin’s New Shepherd-21 crew who went into space on June 4 for a suborbital journey. The capsule climbed to a height of 107 kilometers (66.5 miles) above sea level, surpassing the customary limit of 100 kilometers for space travel (62 miles). The journey to space and returned took 10 minutes and 53 seconds, with a top speed of 3,604 km/h (2,240 miles per hour). Evan Dick, Katya Echazarreta, Hamish Harding, Victor Correa Hespanha, and Jaison Robinson joined Vescovo on this journey into space. The Space For Humanity program funded Echazarreta, who became the first Mexican-born woman and the youngest American woman to go to space.
Victor Vescovo, a mountain climber, jet pilot, and submarine operator, described the encounter as “unbelievable.” “To see the whole curve of the Earth, as well as the thin thread of the atmosphere and this lovely blue-and-brown world that we have, and then the darkness of space and the blazing sun, was certainly a transforming event.” IFLScience had the privilege of sitting down with Vescovo before to his journey to talk about his plans for space travel. Vescovo briefed us about his deep ocean explorations, including his numerous previous dives throughout the world and his forthcoming visits to the ocean’s depths. From one enigma to the next, it’s a never-ending journey.
Vescovo isn’t the first person to visit Challenger Deep, the Mariana Trench’s lowest point in the ocean, and space. Kathy Sullivan, an astronaut, and Richard Garriot, an adventurer, both journeyed to space before diving to the ocean’s depths with Vescovo. Richard Garriott, an entrepreneur and explorer, set a new record a few weeks ago. He became the first human to journey to the deepest section of the ocean, orbit our globe, and traverse both the North and South Poles after diving to the deepest point in the Earth’s waters, Challenger Deep. Garriot joined down with IFLScience for a live Instagram chat to discuss the record-breaking dive.
“We were at sea for ten days, helping to prepare the submersible for the dive, and helping to organize all of the tests that took place on the navigation landers as well as the submarine itself,” Garriot told IFLScience. He then went on to describe the tiny submarine’s confined surroundings and how chilly it becomes inside when they leave the warm water and plunge into the deep ocean’s darkness.