Astronaut and Mountaineer Scott Parazynski Brings Explorers Club Flag to Mount Everest

By Keith Cowing
May 11, 2008
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Astronaut and Mountaineer Scott Parazynski Brings Explorers Club Flag to Mount Everest

When astronaut Scott Parazynski stands atop Mt. Everest in a few days, he will be making note of a number of non-profit and educational organizations – among them the Explorers Club. With him will be a small Explorers Club flag. A full sized flag (#114) will remain at Everest Base Camp.

According to the Explorers Club website: “Every year Explorers Club members launch new research expeditions around the world, thus continuing the early goals laid down by the Club’s founders in 1904. The Explorers Club flag represents a history of courage and accomplishment and has been carried on hundreds of expeditions since 1918. Flag expeditions fulfill a fundamental part of the Club’s mission: To engage in scientific exploration and share the results.

Carrying the flag is a great honor and privilege that is shared with many famous members. A numbered Club Flag may be awarded on loan to an individual member who is taking an active part in a non-commercial field research expedition.”

Image: Explorers Club Flag #114

History of Explorers Club flag #114

  • 1944: Otto W. Geist – Alaskan Coastline Expedition
  • 1988: Tom Hayllar, Ven McNamara – Cairns to Derby Walk
  • 1988: Ruth Petzold – Monterey Canyon Expedition
  • 1990: John Fine – Corsica Expedition
  • 1991: Joseph Romig, Ph.D. – Noon Darkness Expedition
  • 1993: James H. Smith, Jr. – 1993 Cerro Rabon Expedition
  • 1994: Kenneth R. Wright – Machu Picchu Hydrological Survey Expedition
  • 2002: Kenneth R. Wright – Prehistoric D018 Reservoir
  • 2006: Scott W. Hamilton – Texarkana Ivory Bill Research Project
  • 2007: Scott W. Hamilton – Ivory Bill Research Project 2007
  • 2007: Graham Charles – Ice and Ocean – Greenland 2007
  • 2008: Keith L. Cowing – Everest on Orbit

Explorers Club flags have been to the moon, aboard the space shuttle and International Space Station. Another flag will be carried aloft by commercial space traveller and Explorers Club Fellow Richard Garriott (FN’98) in October 2008.

Image: Flags that have been in space on display at the Explorers Club. Click on image to enlarge – so you can read Jim Lovell’s letter of explanation regarding Apollo 13.

In 2007 Astronaut Leroy Chiao (FN’05) and myself (FN’07) took a flag to Devon Island. Surgeon and Everest climber Ken Kamler (FR’84) took a flag to NEEMO 12 (the same one we took to Devon Island) and then took another flag on a parabolic flight doing weightless robotic surgery.

Image: Explorers Club flag on Devon Island, Summer 2007. Story.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.