Did Neil Armstrong and Sir Edmund Hillary Have Anything in Common?

Most people who accomplish astonishing things would probably be satisfied to sit back and rest on their laurels, but Neil Armstrong and Sir Edmund Hillary were not most people. Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon, and Hillary, the first man (along with Tenzing Norgay) to conquer Mount Everest, must have figured that two great explorers are better than one, so in 1985 they traveled by bush plane to the North Pole. But they weren't alone. Adding even more fame to their adventure, the two men were joined by Steve Fossett, the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon, and Patrick Morrow, the first man to summit the highest mountains on all seven continents. The trip was organized by Mike Dunn, a professional expedition leader.

As might be expected, the group accomplished their journey with little trouble, popping the cork on a bottle of champagne at the North Pole on April 6, 1985 -- champagne that froze before they had poured out even two glasses. The only trouble they faced was during their return, when the weather forced them to camp out on Ellesmere Island for three days. But even that proved worthwhile, as Armstrong -- usually a very private person -- regaled the group with stories about his adventures in space.

Do you know the North Pole?:

  • There are two North Poles: the magnetic one, which changes locations daily, and a fixed point at the top of the Earth known as the terrestrial North Pole.
  • The South Pole gets much colder than the North; the average winter temperature is -76 degrees F (-60 C) in the south, but -40 F (-40 C) in the north.
  • The best way to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is from inside a ring centered on the geomagnetic North Pole.
More Info: Atlas Obscura

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?