More than 550 people have left Planet Earth and reached space, and just eight people have reached the deepest point of the ocean, but only one person, American Kathy Sullivan, has accomplished both.
That historic event happened this past Sunday, when oceanographer Kathy Sullivan, who also happens to be a former NASA astronaut, visited ‘Challenger Deep,’ which sits at a depth of 10,928 meters (35,853 feet) in the western Pacific Ocean.
Sullivan is the first of the three explorers to finish the roughly 10-hour mission, with two more scheduled this week.
Kathy Sullivan told CNN Travel:
“I know (Challenger Deep) as a bathymetric feature on a chart, a tectonic feature, and a seismic feature … but that’s all data-based understanding. To see it in person — it makes all the difference in the world,”
“No self-respecting marine biologist would be able to pass up an invitation!”
This isn’t the First Time Kathy Sullivan Made History
On 11 October 1984 Kathy Sullivan became the first American woman to leave a spacecraft on a spacewalk with fellow mission specialist David Leestma, to demonstrate the feasibility of an orbital refueling system.
She went on to take part in two more missions, including the 1990 launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Kathy Sullivan logged 532 hours in space in total and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2004.
“My spacewalk was three and a half hours long. It’s a spacewalk that counts but that’s actually very short as spacewalks go,”
“I was just delighted to see women come after me and do, you know, much more elaborate, much more complicated, much more demanding spacewalks.”