On the way to Everest Base Camp, the NASA flag made a stop at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where shuttle Endeavour is displayed. Photo credit: Paul Hintze
A NASA flag representing the Kennedy Space Center team supporting the Gateway—the agency’s “base camp” for the Moon—is on its way to the base camp for one of the most challenging exploration destinations on Earth: Mount Everest.
Hintze wrote, “This is me with Kanchha Sherpa. He is the last surviving member of the team that enabled Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary to reach the summit of Everest. He pointed to a picture Hillary and Norgay and said he carried the oxygen bottles they were using.”
Gateway is a lunar outpost that will enable the first woman and next man to set foot on the Moon in 2024. Mark Wiese, Gateway Logistics Element manager at Kennedy, is assembling the team that will provide logistics to the Gateway.
One of those team members, Dr. Paul Hintze of Exploration Research and Technology Programs, is in Kathmandu, Nepal. The flag, signed by Kennedy’s Gateway team members, is among the supplies he’s carrying on his journey. After leaving Florida, Hintze made a stop at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where he took out the flag for a photo op with shuttle Endeavour, on display at the museum. Next stop: Nepal.
Hintze wrote, “In Kathmandu and our Gateway flag has its first Nepali signatures! Snow Leopard Trek is providing logistics for our two passes trek to EBC. That’s our guide, Dambar, on the right.”
According to Wiese, complex exploration campaigns require planning, professionals that know the route, and detailed staging of supplies in order to create a base camp from which the final leg of the trip can be carefully monitored and initiated… not unlike the logistical needs of an Everest adventure.
To keep up with Dr. Hintze, follow him on Twitter @KSCPaul.