Press Release

Explorers Club Kicks Off 2021 Global Exploration Summit

By SpaceRef Editor
July 5, 2021
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Explorers Club Kicks Off 2021 Global Exploration Summit

The Explorers Club announced the start of tomorrow’s 2021 Global Exploration Summit (GLEX). Tickets are available for virtual attendance; purchased by clicking here.Taking place in Portugal, and virtually, starting Tuesday, July 6th through July 10th, the second annual summit, with the support of Turismo de Portugal and sponsored by VisitAzores, brings together the world’s leading explorers to share accounts of their expeditions and the scientific research that they are conducting as they explore land, sea, and space.

The full panel schedule, available here:, will include leading visionaries, explorers, and scientists as they discuss recent advancements in their respective fields.

Top speakers at the GLEX Summit include:

  • James Cameron, Academy Award-winning film director and deep-ocean pioneer; 
  • Dr. Sylvia Earle, legendary oceanographer, explorer, author and president of Mission Blue, an organization that inspires action to explore and protect the ocean; 
  • David Blaine, American illusionist, endurance artist, and extreme performer; 
  • Fabien Cousteau, aquanaut, Ocean explorer, environmentalist and visionary behind PROTEUS™, the world’s most advanced underwater scientific research station and habitat to address humanity’s most critical concerns; 
  • Brian Cox, an English physicist and former musician who serves as professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. He is also well-known for his widely popular BBC miniseries on the cosmos, titled “Wonders of the Universe”; 
  • Craig Foster, South African documentary filmmaker and naturalist known for Academy Award-winning documentary film, “My Octopus Teacher”; 
  • Prince Albert II, Monaco’s head of state and leader in global ocean conservation; 
  • Dr. Alan Stern, a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, and author who previously led NASA’s New Horizons mission that successfully explored the Pluto system; 
  • Anousheh Ansari, Iranian-born American businesswoman who was the first female private space traveler, the first person of Iranian descent, and the first Muslim woman to go into space; 
  • A closing message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres; and many more.
A full schedule and description of the program are available on the GLEX Summit website. Examples of the expected conversations include:


GLEX Summit will feature in-depth discussions with James Cameron, Academy Award-winning film director and deep-ocean pioneer and  Dr. Sylvia Earle, legendary oceanographer, explorer, author and president of Mission Blue. Also, Victor Vescovo, retired US Navy officer, 2020 Explorers Club Medalist and the first person to reach the deepest point in each of the Earth’s five oceans, will dive into exploration technology that is now opening the oceans’ deepest frontiers.

Featured panels include:

July 6, 10:00-10:30 am GMT
Panel: Ocean Rise
Description: Committed ocean advocates, legendary ocean luminaries James Cameron, Ray Dalio and Sylvia Earle will explore unknown frontiers, as well as the connections between the deep ocean and outer space. Join them on this mission to discover new ocean worlds, to inspire the next generation of ocean stewards and young explorers, and to better understand our universe.

July 6, 15:00-15:15 GMT
Panel: Exploration Technology Opening the Deep Frontier
Description: Victor Vescovo of Five Deeps Expedition will discuss his recently completed expeditions with his specially-engineered submarine called the DSV Limiting Factor. In March, Viscovo joined Richard Garriott de Cayeux, president of The Explorers Club, on his descent down to the Mariana Trench – marking Victor’s ninth dive to the bottom of Challenger Deep.


A deep look into the great beyond, GLEX Summit will also feature Richard Garriott de Cayeux, President of The Explorers Club, one of the first civilians to travel in space and to orbit the Earth aboard the International Space Station; Russell L. (Rusty) Schweickart, Apollo 9 astronaut and co-founder of the B612 Foundation; Dr. Nina Lanza, Team Lead for Space and Planetary Exploration in Space and Remote Sensing (ISR-2) at Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dr. Alan Stern, a planetary scientist and space program executive; Dr. Elizabeth Turtle, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; and Anousheh Ansari, Iranian-born American businesswoman who was the first female private space traveler, the first person of Iranian descent, and the first Muslim woman to go into space.

Featured panels include:

July 7, 10:00 – 10:15 am GMT
Panel: Space Diversity
Description: Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweikert will be joined by Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, to discuss the future of space diversity and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Beyond Mars Project.

July 7, 11:00 – 11:35 am GMT
Panel: Breaking Barriers in Exploration & Science
Description: Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux, CEO of Global Space Ventures, will be joined by Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPrize, Dr. Nina Lanza, science team member for the SuperCam instrument onboard the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, and Dr. Elizabeth Turtle, principal investigator of the Dragonfly spacecraft, a dual-quadcopter lander to investigate the surface composition and meteorology of Titan, to discuss breaking barriers in exploration and science.

July 7, 11:50 – 12:30 GMT
Panel: Frontiers in Space
Description: Dr. Alan Stern, planetary scientist who previously led NASA’s New Horizons mission that successfully explored Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, will be joined by Danica Remy of the B612 Foundation, and NASA Astronaut Michael López-Alegría, of Axiom Space to discuss future frontiers in space exploration.


On land, Dr. Beverly Goodman, leading marine geoarchaeologist and micropaleontologist will be joined by Dr. Gino Caspari, Swiss archaeologist and explorer, Trevor Wallace, expedition filmmaker and vice president of Research and Education at The Explorers Club, and Dr. Sarah Parcak, archaeologist, Egyptologist, and remote sensing expert, who has used satellite imaging to identify potential archaeological sites in Egypt, Rome, and across the former Roman Empire.

July 7, 14:15 – 15:00 GMT
Panel: Archaeology
Description: “Learning from Ancient Tsunamis to Plan for the Future” with Bev Goodman; “Scythian Tombs in Siberia” with Gino Caspari and Trevor Wallace; and “Seeing the Past from Space” with Sarah Parcak

GLEX Summit held its inaugural event in July 2019 in Lisbon, with hundreds of explorers showcasing their latest discoveries and research and plans for future expeditions. The first summit included the world’s greatest explorers and scientists and brought together leading explorers to commemorate Magellan’s 500th Circumnavigation Anniversary.

Portugal was selected as the home for the recurring summit timed to the 500th anniversary of the first scientific human expedition, the Magellan and Elcano circumnavigation. The event acknowledges the history of global exploration and the impact that that exploration has had on indigenous cultures and the environment. Today, as borders are erased and the world confronts challenges beyond boundaries like climate change, GLEX Summit looks at the intersection of exploration and science to help further our understanding of life and to help educate people across the globe about our common heritage.

GLEX Summit participants are also expected once again to sign onto the Lisbon Declaration: a promise among leaders in exploration, science, and research to promote a worldwide effort in environmental preservation – particularly the planet’s most pristine habitats, and to inspire people to reconnect with nature.

About The Explorers Club:

Since its inception in 1904, members of the Club have traversed the earth, the seas, the skies, and even the moon, on expeditions of exploration. First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, and first to the surface of the Moon – all accomplished by Explorers Club Members. Notable members include Teddy Roosevelt, Neil Armstrong, Jane Goodall, Edmund Hillary, John Glenn, Sally Ride and Bob Ballard.

About GLEX Summit

GLEX Summit is a Co-Organization from The Explorers Club and Expanding World. The curatorship and programming have the prestige and the global network of TEC, leaving the management of the entire operation to the experience and expertise of Expanding World.

SpaceRef staff editor.