Kathy Sullivan, the first US woman to walk in space, has become the first woman to reach Challenger Deep, the deepest known point on Earth, in the South Pacific.
Challenger Deep lies about 35,853 feet below the Western Pacific Ocean's surface within the Mariana Trench.
On Monday, 68-year-old Sullivan, an astronaut and oceanographer, emerged from her 35,810-foot dive to the Challenger Deep, said a statement from EYOS Expeditions, a company coordinating the logistics of the mission.
In 1983, Sullivan, a veteran of three space shuttle flights, had scripted history by becoming the first American woman to walk in space. She is the 8th person to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep, according to EYOS.
"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," said Sullivan.
Shortly after completing the expedition, Sullivan and her fellow diver Victor Vescovo made a call between Sullivan's vessel - the DSSV Pressure Drop, the mothership of submersible DSV Limiting Factor - at the bottom of the ocean and astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Just back up from Challenger Deep! My co-pilot was Dr. Kathy Sullivan - now the first woman to the bottom of the ocean and a former astronaut as well as NOAA Administrator! Big congratulations to her! This was my 3rd time to the bottom. Well done by the crew, Triton, and EYOS.— Victor Vescovo (@VictorVescovo) June 7, 2020
Last year, Vescovo became the fourth person in history to reach Challenger Deep.
"We made some more history today… and then got to share the experience with kindred spirits in the ISS. It was a pleasure to have Kathy along both as an oceanographer during the dive, and then as an astronaut to talk to the ISS," Vescovo said.Also Read: "Did A Little Dance", Says PM Jacinda Ardern As New Zealand Declares Itself COVID-19 Free