An “out of this world” Experience

Apollo Astronauts honored at Explorers Club 115th Annual Dinner (ECAD) – New York – March 16, 2019

Each year ECAD has a theme – 2016, Oceans, The Current of Life; 2017, Cold Places; 2018, Next Generation of Explorers (NGEN).

2019 is the 50th anniversary of the United States’ Apollo Astronaut’s landing on the moon, and over 1,700 Explorers Club members and guests (the largest crowd ever at this prestigious annual event) gathered to honor the participants in the US Space Program.

Each place setting had a commemorative package of Astronaut Ice Cream, facilitated by the organization that I founded; the Himalayan Stove Project, for which I, and the HSP received the Explorers Club Citation of Merit in 2017.

Astronaut Ice Cream was provided compliments of Astronaut Foods and Backpackers Pantry, one of the wonderful sponsors of the HSP, who made this wonderful (and tasty) donation so that every guest could become an Astronaut (at least at desert time).

I cruised the hall after the event and couldn’t find a single unopened package (but LOTS of opened ones, so it was well received; a great success).

We, and the Explorers Club, are profoundly grateful to Astronaut Foods and Backpackers Pantry for this generous donation that helped make this commemorative event so very special.


The Astronauts at ECAD – 2019

Felix Kunze Photographer – Felix, a fabulous photographer, who memorializes ECAD every year, said “What an honor! A definite career highlight”.

A momentous occasion to get 8 of the surviving Apollo astronauts into one room to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings.

L-R: Charles Duke (Apollo 16), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Walter Cunningham (Apollo 7), Al Worden (Apollo 15), Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17), Michael Collins (Apollo 11), Fred Haise (Apollo 13)


Explorer George at ECAD – 2019

Felix Kunze Photographer

ECAD is “Black Tie” formal, but there’s some latitude for the Iconoclastic Explorers Club crowd. I wore my “Penguin” Suit, accessorized with a Penguin Scarf (which I got in South Georgia in the Antarctic, where I saw millions of real penguins); Penguin Socks (from the Falkland Islands) and a Cape Horn Captain’s hat; all from my recent Antarctica Trip (see the blog posts.


Himalayan Stove Project

For those of you not familiar with the Himalayan Stove Project, here’s what the Explorers Club said about me and the project in 2017 when they awarded the Citation of Merit.

“An explorer and humanitarian based in New Mexico, George Basch is the founder of the Himalayan Stove Project – an organization dedicated to preserving the Himalayan environment and improving the health of the people living there. The Himalayan Stove Project provides clean-burning, fuel-efficient cook stoves as replacements to traditional stoves or open-fire pits which cause unsafe levels of indoor air pollution and use excess fuel.”

Since “pictures are worth a thousand words”, the before and after image below shows very clearly what we accomplish in 10 minutes, transforming the life of a family in Nepal.

Basch Photography

For more information about the HSP, go here:


And one last thing

The 2019 Recipients of the Citation of Merit was a team of intrepid and innovative explorers from the Explorers Club Hong Kong Chapter.

Michael Eliot Barth & the RCA Centennial Expedition Team

The Roy Chapman Andrews Centennial Expedition to the Gobi Desert was conceived in the spirit of Roy Chapman Andrews’ original Central Asiatic Expedition. The 35-person multi-disciplinary team is credited as being the first to apply specific NASA imaging and mapping technologies to the work of paleontological fossil prospecting.

In addition to leading this expedition, Michael Barth is the founder and current chair of the Hong Kong Chapter. Since 2013 he has worked to expand the Club’s mission and base of operations in Asia.

These guys were in Mongolia in 2018 at the same place that I visited in 2016, and they conducted a really sophisticated, modern technology expedition with amazing results.

Hat’s off to the entire team

Felix Kunze Photographer

Team. Left to Right:

Eric Daft, Matt Prior, Chinzo Tsogtbaata, Sam Fletcher, Kenneth Ting, Bob Atwater, Michael Barth, Scott Nowicki, Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar, Hamilton Muirhead, Mike Sakas, Badmaa Zorigt., Matthew R. DeSantis, Ian Mangiardi, Paul Niel, Ben Draper, Trevor Hale

Author: George Basch

George Basch (aka Curious George) has circled the globe as an Adventurer, Explorer, Photographer and a Creative Entrepreneurial Businessman. He’s been on all seven continents, and in more countries than he’s taken the time to count, and is still going strong as an explorer / adventurer after celebrating his 81st birthday in March 2018. Click here to read more about George

7 thoughts on “An “out of this world” Experience

  1. Thanks for the recap of the ECAD 2019 get together. Those photos are filled with some very dapper looking gentleman, you included Explorer George!

  2. Penguins are very lonely, even in crowds, as they all look the same. I decided a little differentiation was in order

  3. Congratulations George!
    You are an inspiration and definitely our motivation.
    So glad to be in the team of HSP!

    1. We’re very fortunate to have you, Jai and the “kids” on the team as well, Swosti. Looking forward to seeing you very soon. Travel safely.

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