Cofounder of OceanGate Expeditions Guillermo Söhnlein revealed his plan to continue in the extreme travel industry, after the tragedy with the Titan submersible, with a goal to send 1,000 people to live in a floating colony on Venus by 2050.
In an interview with Insider, Söhnlein said he has not let the Titan tragedy dampen his ambitions to push the limits of his ambitions. He told the publication of his goal, "I think it is less aspirational than putting a million people on the Martian surface by 2050."
He acknowledged that due to the high levels of carbon dioxide, sulfuric acid rains, and extreme atmospheric pressure, the planet would not be the most ideal place for humans to live. He said, "You're absolutely right that when you talk about going to Venus, it would raise eyebrows outside the space industry. And it even raises eyebrows inside the space industry."
According to the New York Post, Söhnlein started OceanGate Expeditions alongside Stockton Rush in 2009 but left the company in 2013. OceanGate's Titan submersible is thought to have imploded on June 18 during its voyage to visit the Titanic shipwreck, killing the five people on board.
He told Insider that he and Rush, "both saw underwater exploration — and especially using crewed submersibles — as the closest thing that we could do to go into space and further that vision without actually going into space."
Söhnlein co-founded Humans2Venus in August 2020, which is described on LinkedIn as "A private venture focused on establishing a permanent human presence in the Venusian atmosphere."
In a blog post on Humans2Venus, Söhnlein wrote, "I am not an engineer or a scientist, but I have ultimate faith in the abilities of both. Therefore, I always figured that they would be able to overcome the myriad challenges facing us in the extreme environment of space: radiation, temperature, pressure, food, water, breathable air, etc. All of these could be overcome." He added, "But not gravity," as the reason the moon would not be a suitable goal.
He told Insider that the Titan tragedy should not stop humanity from pushing the limits of innovations. He said, "Forget OceanGate. Forget Titan. Forget Stockton. Humanity could be on the verge of a big breakthrough and not take advantage of it because we, as a species, are gonna get shut down and pushed back into the status quo."
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