Answer: Mount Everest.
If you’re going to use a drone to survey a mountain instead of climbing it yourself, the highest mountain in the world is probably a good choice.
That’s just what National Geographic did in order to gather data for its upcoming documentary Lost on Everest. The documentary covers National Geographic’s efforts to figure out exactly what happened to climbers George Leigh Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine, who set out to climb the mountain in 1924 and never returned. While Mallory’s remains were discovered in 1999, Irvine’s have yet to be recovered, and we still don’t know if they ever made it to the mountain’s summit. If they did, they would have been the first in history to do so.
National Geographic recently teamed up with climber Mark Synnott and mountaineer Renan Ozturk to look once again for Irvine’s body, but this time with the help of a drone. They used the device to capture aerial and close-up shots of key parts of Everest without having to risk sending climbers over dangerous terrain. During the survey, the drone reached a maximum height of 28,300 feet, about 700 feet lower than the mountain’s summit.
Looking for the latest gov tech news as it happens? Subscribe to GT newsletters.