American Kathryn Sullivan became the first man on Earth had been in space and on the bottom of the Mariana trench, BBC reports.
Photo: YouTube video frame/TIME
Former astronaut NASA 7 Jun descended to a depth 10915 m into the abyss Challenger in the South-West of the Mariana trench in the Pacific ocean.
“Krasiwa over the lunar landscape of the ocean floor, I felt like an alien approached the alien planet. It was unforgettable,” says Bi-bi-si 68-year-old traveler.
Kate Sullivan became the eighth man to walk on the bottom of the Challenger deep portion, and the first woman.
Her partner, a Texas investor and researcher Victor Vescovo previously became the first man to visit the deepest places of all the five oceans of the Earth (previously it was thought that four of them, but in recent years geographers have started to provide Antarctic waters in a separate southern ocean).
Sullivan and Vescovo spent about a half hour, looking at underwater gorge with the sides of the apparatus “Triton 36000”, built by the company owned by Vescovo Сaladan Oceanic and capable of withstanding strong pressure of water.
“I never thought that will ever get this opportunity, and that Victor invited me to join him,” says Dr. Sullivan.
In such places as the Mariana trench is very cold, completely dark and pressure can pulverize anything. But life there somehow exists, and scientists are only beginning to learn how.
First at the bottom of the Marianas trench was visited in 1960, US Navy Lieutenant don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard aboard the bathyscaphe Trieste.
Another dip occurred in half a century. In 2012 Director James Cameron alone went down there on his bright green minisubmarine.
The current dive was part of the expedition “ring of Fire”, during which Vescovo is going to visit the deepest point of the Pacific ocean.
Kate Sullivan worked at NASA in the years 1979-1992. In October 1984 she became the first American to enter the open space (before it, in July of the same year did the Soviet astronaut Svetlana Savitskaya).
Sullivan flew three times into space, spent a total of 532 hours, and in 2004 was awarded a place in the Hall of fame astronauts.
In the years 2011-2017 she was Deputy Director and then Director of the National office of oceanic and atmospheric research.
In a telephone interview Bi-bi-si, while still at sea, Dr. Sullivan called the ocean and space “two of the greatest physical milestones, still facing humanity”.
True, the conditions there are very different. The ISS is surrounded by a vacuum, and deep-water apparatus under pressure of a thousand atmospheres, or 1.25 tons per square centimeter.
“I was trained as a scientist and as an engineer, so stay in specialized vehicles, whether Shuttle or Limiting Factor [the name of the submersible Victor Vescovo for me endless fun, she says. For me it’s a magic flying carpets, is able to deliver us to places where people otherwise would never reach”.
Kate Sullivan received a doctorate in Geology and participated in Oceanographic expeditions before entering NASA and offer to go to the ocean depths with joy replied “Yes”.
“See with your own eyes one of the deepest ocean troughs, where the powerful geological activity, for me as an oceanographer, much more interesting than in the pictures. It is quite another matter,” she explains.
Rob McCallum, one of the founders of the company EYOS Expeditions, responsible for the logistics of the expedition, has named Kate Sullivan “passionate and professional advocate of the oceans”.
“She has vast experience the use of technology for research purposes. As the educator and protector of the oceans she will be able to do much about the importance of deep-sea research,” he notes.
Returning to your ship, Kate Sullivan and Victor Vescovo talked on the phone with the ISS, 400 km above the Earth.
“It was contact between people, conquering the distant frontiers, a celebration of the human thirst for the discoveries and technology that has made possible such an exciting journey, says Dr. Sullivan. — For me it was like meeting with old friends.”
The expedition, like the one that made Dr. Sullivan, expand the limits of human capabilities. She hopes that it will prompt others to follow her.
“For decades I have identified myself as astronauts, academic and researcher and continue and continue, she says. — I want others to feel how the inherent human pioneering spirit, as natural and important for us to explore every bit of our Universe and ourselves.”
Thirst for knowledge and innovation is the main driving force of progress, convinced Dr. Sullivan.
“Technology will change the lives of people will lead humanity out of poverty and overcome the crisis in health care,” she says.