On June 7th, retired naval oceanographer, previous Administrator of NOAA, geologist, and former NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan officially became the first person to have visited both space and the deepest point in the ocean! Originally making history as the first American woman to walk in space, Sullivan is now also the first woman to visit Challenger Deep, the lowest-known point in our ocean. Located at the bottom of Marianas Trench near Guam, Challenger Deep descends almost 7 miles below sea-level. This dive was the first in a dive series for Caladan Oceanic’s Ring of Fire Expedition.
“My specific aspiration through all of graduate school was to… be able to actually go down and see the deep-sea floor myself, do the volcanology part of marine geology and geophysics, and get to dive. That’s what I was heading toward and aiming everything towards until NASA came along,” Sullivan stated in a 2007 NASA interview. Kathy’s hard work and dedication to the exploration of other planets, and our own, is incredibly inspiring!