Nearly 25-years after Kathy Sullivan became the first US woman to walk in space, she also became the first to ever reach Challenger Deep, the deepest point in Earth’s oceans. It’s located approximately 7-miles beneath the Pacific Ocean’s surface within the Mariana Trench, about 200 miles southwest of Guam. She co-piloted the deep sea submersible Limiting Factor with millionaire investor Victor Vescovo. Read more for a video and additional information.
The two spent a total of around 10-hours aboard Limiting Factor, which is a two-person submersible built by Triton Submarines / Caladan Oceanic, but it took four hours alone to descend to the 35,810 feet. Sullivan and Vescovo spent 1.5-hours on the ocean floor, then another 4-hours ascending to the surface.
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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.