Why Going to Outer Space Is Actually Easier Than Summiting Mount Everest

There's only one guy on this whole planet who's done both. He tells us what it's like to experience two of the most extreme feats.

Would you rather blast off into the cold emptiness of space in a fallible rocket, or drag yourself past 200 dead bodies to the inhospitable summit of Mount Everest? Former astronaut Scott Parazynski is the only person on Earth who has conquered both these extreme feats, and it turns out that the challenge closer to home is the one that made his heart race the most. Once you survive the rocket launch, space is rather tranquil, with beautiful views, and you're well looked after by the smartest support team of scientists in the country, Parazynski points out. On your way up the tallest mountain on Earth, however, the threat of death looms with every step. You cannot eat enough or breathe enough to nourish your body, and once you reach your goal -- guess what? You're only halfway. Listen to Parazynski describe these two incredible experiences, and the psychological impact of finding somewhere lonelier than the dark nothingness of space. Scott Parazynski is the author of The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed.

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