Kathy Sullivan is a living legend, a modern-day pioneer, and a historymaker.
On October 11, 1984, she became the first American woman to walk in space. But the astronaut’s adventures didn’t end after she left NASA in 1993. After all, there was a whole new world to explore back home!
The 68-year-old’s passion for exploration began when she was a child. She grew up watching early astronauts and hoped to become one herself.
“That inquisitiveness, that sense of adventure, of curiosity that drives explorers — I could feel that resonating in me as I watched them,” she told CNN.
Finally, she joined their ranks during the eight-day Space Shuttle Challenger mission STS-41-G.
Impressively enough, she wasn’t just interested in space! In college, Kathy went on multiple oceanographic expeditions in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. She also went on to become a U.S. Navy captain before retiring from the service in 2006.
Today, she’s a geologist — and is still just as eager to discover the world around her!
On June 7, Kathy became the eighth person to visit the deepest known point in the ocean: Challenger Deep, which is located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Together with pilot Victor Vescovo, the founder of Caladan Oceanic, she ventured nearly 11,000 meters below the surface of the Pacific.
The mission, which was organized by EYOS Expeditions, lasted 10 hours — and made Kathy the first person to walk in space and reach the deepest place in the ocean!
The day after the historic dive, EYOS Expeditions organized another “world first.” They “coordinated a call between the International Space Station and the DSSV Pressure Drop, the mothership of submersible DSV Limiting Factor.”
Kathy was absolutely thrilled! “As a hybrid oceanographer and astronaut, this was an extraordinary day, a once-in-a-lifetime day,” she said. “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.”
Talk about incredible! We have a feeling this won’t be the last time this amazing role model makes history. Congratulations, Kathy!
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