March 29th, 2012
07:46 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos plans to dive 14,000 feet below the surface and raise the F-1 engines that fired Neil Armstrong to the moon in July 1969.

Just days earlier, producer and director James Cameron lived out his own real-life adventure, plunging solo to the deepest point known in the world’s ocean – 35,800 feet under the surface.

Not to be outdone, British businessman Richard Branson has announced plans for his own deep dive. “The Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest place in the Atlantic and is deeper than Mount Everest is high,” Branson says on the website.

“It should prove to be quite an adventure.”

A bevy of wealthy entrepreneurs are setting off for extremes, be it the depth of the ocean or the widths of space.

“The basics of human survival are shelter and security,” James Carter, CEO of Be Legendary, a company offering surviving retreats, told CNN. “Executives, if they've ever lived in that world, have completely forgotten what it's like.”

 Route to the Top: Extreme Retreats

Bezos says it is his passion for science that made him want to recover the five F-1 engines powering the Saturn V rocket. “I was five years old when I watched Apollo 11 unfold on television, and without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passions for science, engineering, and exploration,” Bezos writes on his blog.

Oscar-winning director and filmmaker Cameron tweeted on Monday “Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good.”

Wealthy adventurers also head to the other direction. Charles Simonyi, chairman, CTO and founder of Intentional Software Corporation conducted his second trip to the International Space Station ISS in 2009.

He joins Internet entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, businessman Dennis Tito and video game programmer Richard Garriott, just to name a few. The world’s premier space exploration company, Space Adventures, started space trips to the ISS in 1998.

Yanik Silver, a serial Internet entrepreneur and self-made millionaire founded Maverick Business Adventure. The exclusive club for wealthy entrepreneurs offers adventures such as high speed evasive driving, combat pistol shooting, parabolic flights to experience zero gravity, ice climbing on a glacier, wildlife safaris and extreme scuba diving.

He says the extreme adventures not only brought a sense of accomplishment but also serve as a source for ideas and business strategy.

Thrill-seeking executives risk dangers, but adventurer and businessman Steve Fossett met his demise died on a recreational flight. The 63-year-old millionaire’s single-engine plane disappeared in September 2007 in the east-central mountains of California and was discovered a year later. Fossett was the first person who flew uninterrupted around the world in a hot air balloon. With 76 hours in a lightweight plane, he completed the longest non-stop flight in aviation history, the New York Times reported.

After all, businessman or not, extreme adventures can be tough, as James Cameron tweeted after resurfacing last Monday. “Back from trip to deepest pl on Earth -#oceans hadal zone. Puts a new spin on "to hell and back". Good to see the sunshine.”

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. max

    Strange how CNN says Richard Brandson is Britisch but never says that Cameron is Canadian. Do most Americans think Cameron is American or what.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  2. it's the ultimate

    Spend all that money saving desperate communities around the world. Now that would be a REAL adventure.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  3. masoud

    how could that engine reach there?.I doubt that there has never been trip to the moon and the engine at the deepest sea trench is unrecovable.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  4. PJs.Cat

    It's easy to forget that life is an adventure.
    It's good to know that at least some people out there are free to mess about a bit, and cease the day.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
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