Adventurer Sean Burch of Marshall, Virginia has just secured his 8th world record by ascending 31 previously unclimbed mountains in Nepal.
But the man National Geographic called “one of the world’s top extreme adventurers” had to prove he had actually done it, after locals contested his claims.
Luckily, he’d used a special handheld device to send SMS messages from each summit, marking his location and even pinpointing it on the map.
Along the way, he documented the effects of climate change in previously uncharted areas with pictures and video.
The device Sean used was the Iridium Push-to-Talk or PTT. His achievement comes just as McLean, VA-based Iridium sets out to claim its own.
On January 8, Iridium is first to fly with SpaceX out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on the Falcon 9 rocket, the model that exploded on the launch pad in September.
Iridium will launch the first 10 satellites in its new $3 billion NEXT constellation, replacing its aging commercial constellation, already the largest in space. It’s being called “the largest tech refresh out there.”
The new satellites will track aircraft in real time for the first time ever (so no more disappearing planes like MH-370 which vanished over the Indian Ocean in 2014). The satellite “swap,” in which 66 new satellites will replace old ones in orbit, is the largest and most complex of its kind.
Engineers compare it to changing the tire on a car moving at 17,000 mph, as that’s how fast the satellites are moving through space.