Geologist And Former NASA Astronaut Becomes First Woman To Reach Earth’s Deepest Point
- Geologist and Former NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan made history again. About 25 years ago Sullivan got her name in the books of history by becoming the first US woman to walk in space.
- She became the first woman ever to reach Challenger Deep, the deepest known spot in the ocean. The point resides within the Mariana Trench, around seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, about 200 miles southwest of Guam.
- The 68-year-old is the eighth person to make the dive in history. The point is more than one mile deeper than Mount Everest is high. Post their return to the surface, the duo was put on a call with two US astronauts who recently made history by reaching the International Space Station by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.
- “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,” Sullivan remarked in a statement. Rob McCallum from EYOS expeditions, talking about the “inner space” and outer space conversation, said, “Two groups of humans using cutting-edge technology to explore the outer edges of our world.”
- Kathy was the co-pilot of the submersible called the Limiting Factor with the millionaire adventurer and investor, Victor Vescovo. The two spent around 10 hours on Limiting Factor which is a two-person submersible. It took them four hours to cover the depth of about 35,810 feet. After spending one and a half hours on the ocean floor, the two started ascending which took them another four hours. At the depth the two reached, the water is said to be freezing and it is pitch dark, with pressure as high as eight tonnes per square inch (which is about a thousand times the pressure at sea level.
- The submersible’s body is designed in such a way that it can withstand that pressure and is the only ship that can make a dive more than once. The Limiting Factor has successfully handled this pressure in the previous five trips to the Challenger Deep.
- Kathy Sullivan was a former astronaut. She joined NASA in 1978 and was a part of one of the first women’s groups of astronauts. Apart from being the first-ever US woman to walk in space, Kathy flew three shuttle missions in the late 1900s and was inducted into the Astronauts Hall of Fame in 2004.
- She left NASA in 1993, to explore oceanography. In 2014, Kathy was named as the under-secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere in the US. It was Vescovo who urged her to accompany him in his third journey to the Challenger Deep.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
- Founded – 1 October 1958
- Headquarters– Washington, United States.
- Administrator– James Frederick “Jim” Bridenstine
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