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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.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • 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.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

32 mins ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.