The 1998 Everest Expedition consists of an

expert team of climbers, doctors, and scientists. The mission

is scientific: put geological and surveying apparatus in

place, conduct experiments in physiology and tele-medicine.

It's shaping up to be one of the most powerful and exciting

expeditions ever to go to Everest. There is deep value,

scientifically, educationally, ecologically, in sending

expeditions of this sort that stretch technology to probe

extreme environments.

From a technological standpoint, the new systems being

tested could have big impact back on earth. Medical systems

like the ones we're making might revolutionize medical care

and health awareness. The summit camera and weather probe

is a real challenge, and will be a coup if it works. If we

can put one on the summit of Everest, we can put one almost

anywhere -- at every UNESCO world heritage site, on every

highway sign in Los Angeles to watch traffic, or in parts of

the environment that are either too hazardous or too fragile

for human visits. It seems likely that the world climate is

undergoing serious changes, and yet world civilizations have

an appalling lack of real information because there are very

few real probes in the world.