Vanessa O’Brien became the first woman to accomplish the Explorers’ Extreme Trifecta on August 4, 2022.
To complete the Explorers’ Extreme Trifecta, an individual must reach extremes on land (Mount Everest), sea (Challenger Deep), and air (the Kármán Line.) Below is what Vanessa did:
1) May 19, 2012 – Vanessa summitted Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth, rising to 8,848.8 m (29,031 ft) above sea level and located in the Himalayas between Nepal and Tibet.
2) June 20, 2020 – Vanessa dove in a submersible to Challenger Deep, the deepest point on Earth, located 10,934 m (35,872 ft) below sea level at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.
3) August 4, 2022 – Vanessa crossed the Kármán Line with NS-22 which is generally accepted as the starting point of space, 107 km (66 mi) above Earth’s surface, as part of the Blue Origin NS-22 mission.
Highest Point on Earth
Mount Everest is the tallest mountain with the summit at 29,035 feet. It lies on the border between China (Tibet) and Nepal in the center of the Himalayan mountain range. Due to its size, it is buffeted by the jet stream with winds reaching speeds of over 100 mph, and this, combined with the avalanches, glaciers, ice-rivers and altitude, make this the most difficult of all the Seven Summits to climb.
Rising to an elevation of 8,848.86m, Mount Everest is the most prominent peak among the Seven Summits of the World.
Deepest Point on Earth
Challenger Deep is the deepest known point in the Earth’s seabed (the oceans) by direct measurement from deep-diving submersibles, remotely operated vehicles, benthic landers, and sonar bathymetry. In 2012, film director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron reached 35,756 feet (10,898 m).
In 2019, Victor Vescovo proved Challenger Deep was lower at 35,853 ft (10,928 m).
Starting Point of Space
The Kármán Line
Vanessa joined the crew of Blue Origin mission NS-22 (its sixth flight carrying human passengers), along with Coby Cotton, Mário Ferreira, Clint Kelly III, Sara Sabry and Steve Young. Taking off from Texas, USA, at 13:56 UTC in a New Shepard rocket, the crew capsule reached an apogee of 351,585 ft (107 km) above mean sea level. The booster reached an apogee of 347,219 ft AGL / 350,866 ft MSL (106 km AGL / 107 km MSL.)
The Max Ascent Velocity was 2,239 mph / 3,603 km/h. The official launch time was 8:56:07 AM CDT / 13:56:07 UTC, and the capsule landing occurred at 9:06:27 AM CDT / 14:06:27 UTC. The mission elapsed time was 10 minutes 20 seconds.