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Former NASA astronaut joins Everett company in expedition to the Titanic

Scott Parazynski, who has completed five spaceflights and even summitted Mt. Everest, joined Everett's OceanGate to travel to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

EVERETT, Wash. — Former NASA astronaut Dr. Scott Parazynski loves to explore. 

"I'm driven to go to places that are difficult to reach, that really involve commitment," he said. 

After completing five spaceflights, traveling across Antarctica and even summitting Mt. Everest, Parazynski's newest adventure took him to the ocean floor to document the world's most famous shipwreck.

"Everyone around the world knows the Titanic. And the fact that it's 12,800 feet beneath the ocean and really inaccessible, it's sort of the Everest of submersible diving," Parazynski told KING 5. 

Parazynski joined OceanGate, an Everett company which owns and operates submersibles, to travel to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean with a team of mission specialists to capture new images and video of the shipwreck. 

The company has already completed four expeditions to the Titanic this summer and is currently on the last one for this season.

"There's so many things under water to explore, and by taking people to the Titanic and getting the awareness of what can be done underwater, I hope we'll get a cadre of mission specialists that say, 'look, I want to go every year,'" said Stockton Rush, who is the CEO and founder of OceanGate.

The most recent footage from OceanGate shows the ship is rapidly deteriorating. The video shows what's left of a first class balcony and the telemotor where the ship's wheel once was. There is also footage of the collapsed forward mast and the Titanic's bow. 

Click below to view the footage: 

On the most recent mission, Parazynski was also joined by his wife, Professor Meenakshi Wadhwa, who is the director of Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration, and the NASA Mars Sample Return program scientist. Wadhwa is in charge of making sure the samples being collected by NASA's Perseverance Rover are brought back to earth in good condition. 

"Robotic exploration is incredible at being able to do that, but the human experience is something that's totally different, and being able to see it with your own eyes is going to be transformational," said Wadhwa about the Titanic expedition. 

The mission also included P.H. Nargeolet, who is on OceanGate's team of experts. Nargeolet was the leader of six expeditions to the Titanic wreck site between 1987 and 2010 and was in charge of retrieving more than 5,500 Titanic artifacts. 

OceanGate is embarking on its final expedition to the Titanic this week to continue gathering footage. The goal is to make a precise 3D image of the Titanic to better track the ship's decay and possibly predict how long it will be there. 

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