Fyodor Konyukhov is a 66-year old ordained priest who, in 2016, set a world record for the fastest solo around the globe in a hot-air balloon, has previously climbed Mt. Everest twice, and has been to the North and South Poles, believes the 21st century is off to a “disappointing” start.
Radio Free Europe (2016):
“I was 10 years old when Yury Gagarin flew [into space], and soon after that the first men walked on the moon,” Konyukhov told RFE/RL in an interview. “At the time, I was convinced that by the 21st century we would already have scientific stations on Mars and settlements on the Moon. But the 21st century came and all we do is wage war, make money, and stuff ourselves.”
The Earth’s oceans, he lamented, also remain largely uncharted.
“There are seven billion people on this planet but we lack curiosity, we don’t seek adventures,” he said. “Humans should be more curious — they should strive to discover new worlds.”