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.

Elon Musk' s motivation for making billions? To help humans become a multi-planetary species.

Elon Musk publishes a visionary paper on his company's plans to colonize space.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images). Rocket on Enceladus. Credit: SpaceX

Having previously teased that he'd like to put one million people on Mars, tech billionaire and serial enterpreneur Elon Musk released the specifics of his plan to colonize space. His paper "Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species" outlines what kind of technology humans will need to make that dream a reality, including how to build a city on Mars, as well as the timeline for this endeavor.

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EM Drive, the Impossible Rocket Engine, May Be Closer to Reality

The engine that could revolutionize space travel is pursued by scientists around the world.

As technological advancements continue at breakneck speed, recent developments raise hopes in the creation of the hypothetical “Em Drive”. This electromagnetic propulsion drive or “Em Drive” would give us the capability to explore space in a revolutionary way, without needing fuel. It would theoretically allow for trips to Mars in about two months, while going to the moon would only take a few hours. Oh, it might also solve climate change, the energy crisis, and transform the aerospace industry as we know it. 

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