DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton real estate investor Larry Connor has made it halfway to history as the first person to travel to inner and outer space within 12 months.
Just under a month ago, Connor announced he, along with a group of scientists, would be going on a mission to the deepest depths of the ocean, and has since returned to share his experience.
“We made actually three different dives,” he said. “[The] first one was 36,000 feet — that’s Challenger Deep. That’s the deepest spot in any ocean. Then two days later, we made a second dive –Sirena Deep — 35,000 feet. Two days later, we made a third dive — 25,000 feet to what’s called a seamount, which is an extinct volcano.”
Connor said during the journey, he and other members aboard the Triton submarine saw a Mariana snail fish, making it the first time the animal has been visible to humans without using a camera. He said there were other scientific discoveries made as well that is expected to used for further research on the Mariana Trench.
Connor said scientists explained the importance of that research in an easily digestible way.
“Let’s say you bought a home. In the basement, let’s say, was two-thirds of the square footage, but the door to the basement was locked when you bought the home,” said Connor. “Well, that’s what the ocean is. Over two thirds of the earth is ocean. So that’s why the scientists on the mother vessel were so excited about what we found.”
He said while the ocean is completely dark after descending about 600 feet, preparation left him more excited than nervous for the trip. He said he hopes that excitement and determination will rub off on young Daytonians.
“Any educational opportunities you have, take advantage of,” he said. “And then, when you’re out [of school], find advisors, find mentors, find people who have walked that path. Don’t be limited. Again, so much of it’s just a mindset about what you believe. And if you believe — you’re the first step to making it happen.”
Connor’s trip to space is expected to take place in February 2022.