Victor Vescovo has climbed the highest peaks and dived into the deepest seas. Then the space
The Dallas businessman known for conquering the highest peaks and the deepest depths of the globe is leaving this world. Literally.
Victor Vescovo, co-founder of private equity firm Insight Equity, is one of six passengers scheduled to travel to space on Blue Origin’s fifth human flight. The date of this flight with the aerospace company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has not yet been disclosed.
“I think I will be the first person to have climbed Mount Everest and gone to the bottom of the ocean and gone into space,” said the 56-year-old Preston Hollow native, who climbed the seven summits of the world and skied to the North and South Poles, a feat known as the Explorer’s Grand Slam. “I don’t think anyone’s ever done this before.”
Vescovo burst into the limelight in 2020 when he became the first to repeatedly dive – 12 times to be exact – at Challenger Deep in the western Pacific Ocean, the deepest point on Earth. He also became the first person to visit the deepest point in the world’s five oceans and performed the deepest wreck dive in history.
“I just have a personality that I really like to push myself,” Vescovo said. “[I like to] doing things that other people have never done before, or have done, that are kind of on the edge of human experience.
Blue Origin uses a launch pad in West Texas to send passengers into space, with 21 successful missions so far in its New Shepard rocket program.
Vescovo said he took Hamish Harding, president of business jet brokerage firm Action Aviation, with him in 2021 to Challenger Deep in a two-person submarine. The two later reconnected over their interest in space exploration.
Harding informed him a few weeks ago of the possibility of going to space, and Vescovo was delighted. He said the flight is partly intended to raise awareness about the accessibility of space.
Vescovo and Harding will be joined by investor and New Shepard-19 astronaut Evan Dick; electrical engineer and former NASA test manager Katya Echazarreta; civil production engineer Victor Correa Hespanha; and Dream Variation Ventures co-founder Jaison Robinson.
Echazarreta will become the first woman born in Mexico and the youngest American woman to fly in space. She was selected by Space for Humanity’s Citizen Astronaut Program. Hespanha will be the second Brazilian to fly in space.
“Joining Katya and the other cast members I think will be just awesome,” Vescovo said. “We’re all trying to broaden participation in these extreme efforts.”
Although Blue Origin does not disclose what passengers pay for the thrill, a Dutch teenager aboard his first crewed flight last summer occupied a seat the company auctioned off for $28 million. The New York Times reported last fall that Blue Origin was approaching $100 million in sales.
Vescovo said he plans to take part in several more expeditions this summer in the Western Pacific, targeting five deep ocean trenches that have never been visited by anyone. He also watches aviation adventures.
And he does it while staying at his private equity firm. He is chairman of three of Insight Equity’s portfolio companies, focusing on aerospace, defense, electronics and industrial pollution control companies.
Vescovo is a jet and helicopter pilot with degrees from Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School. He also served 20 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer, retiring as a commander.