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Kathy Sullivan when she was a NASA astronaut. Photo: NASA

Kathy Sullivan has become the first woman in the world to reach the lowest point on Earth, the Challenger Deep.

Why it matters: The 68-year-old former NASA astronaut and oceanographer became in 1984 the first American woman to walk in space. Now she's "the first human to have been in space and at full ocean depth," said EYOS Expeditions, a firm coordinating the mission' logistics, in a statement on Monday.

  • Sullivan is only the eighth person to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep. ("Titanic" director James Cameron is also in this exclusive diving club.)

Driving the news: Sullivan and Victor Vescovo, an explorer funding the mission, completed their dive of almost 36,000 feet, or nearly seven miles, in the western Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, some 200 miles southwest of Guam, in a submersible named Limited Factor on Sunday.

  • After their historic dive, Sullivan and Vescovo called the crew of the International Space Station.

What she's saying: "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 said in a statement in EYOS Expeditions' post.

  • Sullivan posted one word to her blog on Monday to announce her momentous feat: "Success!"

Editor’s note: The headline in this article was updated to clarify that Sullivan was the first American woman to walk in space.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Updated Aug 2, 2020 - Science

Two NASA astronauts return to Earth after historic SpaceX mission

The Crew Dragon capsule ahead of landing in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are safely back on Earth after a historic flight to and from the International Space Station provided by SpaceX.

Why it matters: The landing marks the end of SpaceX's first crewed trip to the space station for NASA and the beginning of the space agency's next phase in exploration, one marked by partnerships with private companies.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Leon Black says he "made a terrible mistake" doing business with Jeffrey Epstein

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images

Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black on Thursday said during an earnings call that he made a "terrible mistake" by employing Jeffrey Epstein to work on personal financial and philanthropic services.

Why it matters: Apollo is one of the world's largest private equity firms, and already has lost at least one major client over Black's involvement with Epstein.