OceanGate co-founder wants to send 1,000 people to Venus by 2050

This comes a month after OceanGate's submersible imploded in the ocean, killing all five on board.
Sejal Sharma
OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein
OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein


The deep-sea disaster last month, which killed five on board an OceanGate submersible, is not a hurdle in the plans of its co-founder.

In an interview with Insider, Guillermo Söhnlein revealed that he has much bigger plans for the company. He said he wants to send 1,000 humans to live in Venus' atmosphere by 2050.

"I think it is less aspirational than putting a million people on the Martian surface by 2050," Söhnlein added.

Being the warmest planet in the solar system, it’s not the most conducive environment for humans. However, Söhnlein says that there’s research which points to an area 30 miles above the surface of Venus that humans could theoretically survive.

Humans on Venus by 2050

Söhnlein believes humans could live in that area if a space station could be designed to withstand the sulfuric acid in the clouds.

Söhnlein’s statement couldn’t have come at a worse time. OceanGate is currently facing an investigation over its Titan submersible, which takes passengers on an expedition to the wreckage site of the Titanic ship four times a year. The company's other founder, Stockton Rush, was also aboard the submersible along with four other passengers.

The submersible went missing in the wee hours of June 18. After four days of search and rescue operations, the US Coast Guards announced that they found debris from the submersible on June 22 and that all aboard had been presumably killed in an implosion.

OceanGate, under great duress

Its website says: ‘OceanGate Expeditions has suspended all exploration and commercial operations.’ 

Interesting Engineering reported earlier that some grave concerns were raised about the safety of the submersible. A former employee of the OceanGate had raised alarms about the flaws in its carbon hull and urged the company to have an outside agency certify the vessel. But the employee’s verbal warning went unnoticed, and he was fired shortly afterward.

OceanGate had previously said in a now-archived blog post that getting the Titan certified would be lengthy and could stifle its innovative techniques.

In the interview with Insider, Söhnlein said that Rush saw the certification process as a distraction. Söhnlein added that explorers must take calculated risks in endeavors that push boundaries.

He believes that the deaths in the recent submersible tragedy shouldn't deter humans from continuing to investigate carbon fiber-hulled submersibles as a way to reach the bottom of the ocean.

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