Filmmaker James Cameron has revealed his plans to visit the deepest place on the planet aboard a deep-diving craft called the Deepsea Challenger.
If successful, this will be only the second time humans have been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 7 miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
Cameron, director of “Titanic” and “Avatar” has always embraced new technology, on and off the screen. His latest adventured is backed by National Geographic and Rolex. He will travel to the bottom of the ocean in the Deepsea Challenger, named after deepest part of the trench, the Challenger Deep. It is a lime-green, single-pilot submersible capable of withstanding extreme pressure and bringing back samples for scientific research.
According to a release from National Geographic, Cameron plans to spend six hours at the bottom of the trench, about 200 miles southwest of Guam. While at the bottom, he will be collecting samples for research in marine biology, microbiology, astrobiology, marine geology and geophysics.
The first and last time humans reached the Challenger Deep was in 1960 when U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard, a Swiss native, rode a metal vessel called the Trieste to the seafloor and spent 20 minutes there.
Deep-sea adventures like these are incredibly important, as the deep sea (anything below 650 feet or 200 meters) comprises more than 90 percent of the living space on our planet, and we know shockingly little about it.
“The deep trenches are the last unexplored frontier on our planet, with scientific riches enough to fill a hundred years of exploration,” Cameron said in a statement.
To learn more about the dive, take a look at National Geographic’s Deepsea Challenge website.
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC.