Kathy Sullivan, 68-year-old astronaut and oceanographer, is the world's first woman to reach the world's deepest spot in its oceans, the New York Times reported. Sullivan is also the first American woman to walk in space.
It was a memorable weekend for her, since on Sunday, June 7, she just came from her almost 35,900-foot dive into Challenger Deep, the lowest of various other seabed recesses in the world. It is located at the Mariana Trench.
EYOS Expeditions narrated how she and Victor L. Vescovo, the person who funded the mission, spent around an hour and a half to the destination, about seven miles deep down into the "muddy depression" in the Trench, about 200 miles southwest of Guam, a country in the Pacific Ocean.
They utilized a specially-designed deep-sea research submersible known as the Limiting Factor to capture photos from the trip. It was a four-hour ascent back into the norm.
While they came back to their ship, they called a group of astronauts from the International Space Station, about 250 miles above the Earth.
Sullivan exclaimed with EYOS Expeditions, "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."
Vescovo praised her for her new feat: the first woman who reached the bottom of the ocean. He posted online, "Big congratulations to her!"
Who is Kathy Sullivan?
In the late 1970s, she joined NASA and became the first group fo American astronauts to include women. Right on October 11, 1984, she was named the first American woman to walk in space.
Many fans and followers would remember her statement after floating into the cargo bay of her shutter known then as the Challenger. She said, "That is really great."
Soon after, she was hailed the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Furthermore, she was also among the participants in one of the world's first attempts to utilize a submersible to study the depths of volcanoes that form the ocean crust.
"Consummate leader" was the tagline that Tim Shank called Sullivan. Shank is a biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, studying the oceans.
"I'm thrilled to hear that she was in it," the biologist said. "Anytime we can reach such extreme places on Earth to learn about them, it's a major event."
The HMS Challenger discovered the Challenger Deep. The HMS Challenger is a British ship that sailed the Earth between 1872 to 1876. Since then, there have been several expeditions launched to measure the depth of the planet.
However, she is currently the eighth person to reach the bottom of Challenger Deep. The first two were Don Walsh and Jacques Picard in the 1960s. In 2012, Titanic director James Cameron descended into Challenger Deep.
Sullivan will continue the deep-sea expedition in the following days, a representative from Caladan Oceanic pointed out.