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Prayer flags above Dingboche. Lhotse and Island Peak in the background.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Re-entry Zone

5 a.m. CDT May 22, 2013

The news of summit success or not is still a mystery. It is great to know that everyone is descending safely. The team is most likely resting at a lower elevation now.  I have checked through the night and there are no new dispatches posted on the Altitude Junkies website. This is not surprising as the descent to safer elevation would take some time.

This period of waiting without communication reminds me of a time in my early years when I would be watching and waiting for another group of adventurers to return home safely. I am going to date myself, but here goes anyway. Back in the 1960's when the space program was in full swing, I would watch TV coverage of the event waiting for the manned space capsule to splashdown safely in the ocean.  There was a period of time that communication was lost between mission control and the space craft as the ship descended through earth's atmosphere. This communication void was called "The Re-entry Zone".  That is where we are now, patiently waiting for news.

Back then, when communication was restored, there were big cheers at the control center confirming that the crew was safely back on earth. Let us hope that we hear some news soon to bring us out of "The Re-entry Zone" and into restored communication with Robert and the other Altitude Junkies.  When the facts are confirmed, we can then cheer the efforts made by Robert and the team to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain, not quite outer space but most surely as close as one can travel without some kind of winged craft fitted with a pressurized cabin.

:)Patty Kay
Lincoln, NE

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