Race to the Mariana Trench!

On January 23, 1960, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard descended 35,814 feet into the deepest part of the ocean…the Mariana Trench. Now, director James Cameron intends to duplicate the feat.

Race to the Mariana Trench!

James Cameron hopes to become the first person to reach Challenger Deep – the deepest part of the Mariana Trench – in 52 years. He’s racing against three other groups – Triton Submarine (who wants to commercialize the Mariana Trench trip at a whopping $250,000 per person), Virgin Oceanic (owned by Richard Branson), and DOER Marine. Here’s more on Cameron’s upcoming expedition to the Mariana Trench:

Squeezed into a submersible as futuristic as anything in his movies, James Cameron intends to descend solo to the ocean‘s deepest point within weeks, the Canadian filmmaker and explorer announced Thursday. (See more pictures of Cameron’s sub.)

Just Tuesday, during testing off Papua New Guinea, Cameron dived deeper than any other human has on a solo mission. Now he aims to become the first human to visit the Mariana Trench‘s Challenger Deep in more than 50 years—and to return with animals, images, and data that were unthinkable in 1960.

That year the two-person crew of the U.S. Navy submersible Trieste—still the only humans to have reached Challenger Deep—spent only 20 minutes at the bottom, their view obscured by silt stirred up by the landing (more on the Trieste dive)…

(See National Geographic for more on James Cameron’s expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trench)

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