Mike was born & educated in Australia. His career began on MacQuarie Island as a geophysicist with an Australian expedition in 1971. He would go on to found Quark Expeditions and pioneer tourism transit to the polar regions with Russian icebreakers. In the late 1990s, he sold Quark in order to focus on new ventures in space travel and deep ocean exploration. He currently serves on the board of Space Adventures which offers space travel to the general public and operates Deep Ocean Expeditions which has coordinated dive expeditions to the Titanic, the Bismarck, and the Mariana Trench.