- Vanessa O'Brien
- / first
- United States ()
The first woman to reach extremes on land, sea and air is Vanessa O'Brien (UK/USA), who summitted Mount Everest (the highest point on Earth) on 19 May 2012, dived to the Challenger Deep (the deepest point on Earth) on 12 June 2020, and ventured to space (crossing the 100-km-high Kármán Line) as part of the Blue Origin NS-22 mission on 4 August 2022.
O'Brien completed the trio of extreme journeys in 10 years 77 days.
Situated in the Himalayas between Nepal and Tibet, China, Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth, rising to 8,848.8 m (29,031 ft) above sea level. The Challenger Deep is located 10,934 m (35,872 ft) below sea level at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, south-west of Guam. The Kármán Line is generally accepted as the starting point of space, 100 km (62 mi) above Earth's surface.
The first person to complete the Explorers' Extreme Trifecta was Victor Vescovo (USA) on 4 June 2022; Vescovo piloted O'Brien to the Challenger Deep in his two-person deep-sea submersible, Limiting Factor.
O'Brien 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 total flight lasted just over 10 minutes.