Jun 10, 2020

First American Woman to Walk in Space Reaches Deepest Spot in the Ocean


The first American woman to walk in space has become the first woman to reach the deepest known spot in the ocean.
On Sunday, Kathy Sullivan, 68, an astronaut and oceanographer, emerged from her 35,810-foot dive to the Challenger Deep, according to EYOS Expeditions, a company coordinating the logistics of the mission.
This also makes Dr. Sullivan the first person to both walk in space and to descend to the deepest point in the ocean. The Challenger Deep is the lowest of the many seabed recesses that crisscross the globe.
Dr. Sullivan and Victor L. Vescovo, an explorer funding the mission, spent about an hour and a half at their destination, nearly seven miles down in a muddy depression in the Mariana Trench, which is about 200 miles southwest of Guam.
After capturing images from the Limiting Factor, a specially designed deep-sea research submersible, they began the roughly four-hour ascent.

Upon returning to their ship, the pair called a group of astronauts aboard the International Space Station, around 254 miles above earth.
“As a hybrid oceanographer and astronaut this was an extraordinary day, a once in a lifetime day, seeing the moonscape of the Challenger Deep and then comparing notes with my colleagues on the ISS about our remarkable reusable inner-space outer-spacecraft,” Dr. Sullivan said in a statement released by EYOS Expeditions on Monday.
Early Sunday, Mr. Vescovo applauded Dr. Sullivan for being “the first woman to the bottom of the ocean.”
“Big congratulations to her!” Mr. Vescovo posted on Twitter.
In 1978, Dr. Sullivan joined NASA as part of the first group of U.S. astronauts to include women. On Oct. 11, 1984, she became the first American woman to walk in space.
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