Kathy Sullivan is the first woman to dive in deepest trench
A former NASA astronaut who was the first American woman to walk in space has become the world’s first woman to reach the deepest point on Earth.
Kathy Sullivan dove to Challenger Deep, the lowest-known location on the planet. She is now the first woman and eighth person to descend the 7 miles (11 kilometers) to the bottom of the crescent-shaped Mariana Trench, located near Guam in the Western Pacific Ocean.
“Challenger Deep — and back!” wrote Sullivan on Facebook after completing the history-making dive. “10,915 meters on our gauges (35,810 ft).”
Sullivan’s participation in Caladan Oceanic’s “Ring of Fire” expedition comes 36 years after she launched on and performed a spacewalk outside of the space shuttle Challenger in 1984. Both the orbiter and seafloor depression were named after the HMS Challenger, the British Royal Navy survey ship that in 1875 was the first to record the depth of what would later be known as Challenger Deep.
Mount Everest would fit inside the deepest sea trench on Earth, the Mariana Trench, with a few miles to spare. This helps explain why it has been so rarely explored — only eight people have gone there so far.