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Astronaut Dr Kathy Sullivan just became the first woman to dive to Earth’s lowest point

We bow down

Carla Challis

Dr Kathy Sullivan is definitely on our remarkable women list. Not only was the ex-NASA astronaut the first American woman to walk in space in 1984, the 68-year-old has just become the first woman to dive to the lowest point on Earth. Known as Challenger Deep, inside the Mariana Trench, the point is more than 35,000 feet below the ocean’s surface and Dr Sullivan is now the eighth person in history to reach the bottom of Challenger Deep. Once she and her colleague Victor Vescovo emerged from the dive, the first thing they did was put a call in to the International Space Station (ISS).

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Dr Kathryn Sullivan on her historic, record-setting dive

She said: "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." The team travelled to Challenger Deep in the submersible DSV Limiting Factor (LF), built by American company Triton Submarines. The dive finished on Sunday and the team are expected to be back on the island of Guam on June 15.

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Dr Kathy Sullivan is also an inductee in the Astronaut Hall of Fame

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The historic expedition means Dr Sullivan is the first person ever to have been in space and at full ocean depth. Dr Sullivan is a veteran of three space shuttle flights and walked in space in 1984, the first American woman to do so. Of her latest adventure, Dr Sullivan told The Times: "If you're looking for that absolutely glorious picture postcard view, space wins it every time. But if you want to be dazzled beyond anything you can imagine about the variety and abundance of life on Earth, go into the sea."

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