An ultra-long distance phone call recently connected the depths of the ocean with the heights of Earth's orbit. On Jan. 26, 2007, astronaut Sunita Williams, orbiting more than 200 miles above the Earth in the International Space Station, chatted with Tim Shank, a marine biologist conducting research 2 miles undersea in the Alvin submersible.

Both explorers work in small, confined spaces, looking out onto vast expanses. Shank has no contact with sunlight, buried under a blanket of perpetual darkness, while Williams floats in darkness but sees the sun rise 15 times a day.

Shank and Williams compared notes on life, science and exploration.

-- The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and NASA

Jessica Jones  |  Assistant Editor