This is the story arc of the Session themes.
Since time immemorial, outer space and the ocean have been sources of mystery and intrigue. We have long wondered what lies beyond our planet in the stars above and what lies below the waves within the salty waters of our ocean.
From Leonardo da Vinci’s sub sketches to later day diving bells and modern-day subs, our designs for diving deep have continually evolved. We haven’t just wanted to visit the depths: we have wanted to stay! We’ve wanted to persist long enough to experience and explore the undersea world. Eventually in the early 1960s, scientists began conducting saturation diving experiments. They wanted to test human ability to live in specially designed submerged habitats for days, even months, at a time. This research would lay essential groundwork not only for extended undersea living but also for extended living in outer space.
This quest brought together artists, scientists, engineers and visionaries. For the first time, on July 20, 1969, astronauts walked on the moon and looked back on Earth with new eyes. One year later in July 1970, an intrepid group of four scientists and an engineer became the first all-female team of aquanauts to live undersea for 10 days. On June 6th 2020, the first woman to walk in space also became the first woman to make a round-trip voyage to the Challenger Deep—the deepest part of the ocean.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the momentous all female mission Tektite 2 Mission 6, the 51st anniversary of the Apollo landing, and the first time that a woman has reached the full ocean depth. We invite you to join us on 17 and 18th July in celebrating where women in sea and space have come in the past 50 years and where they are going in the next 50. With a phenomenal line-up of presenters, including the original Tektite all-female Aquanaut Team, this event is not to be missed.