Ahh... rich boys and their money. First we have Branson going to the stars with Virgin Galactic, and now we have Cameron diving to the deepest point on Earth with his new submarine. Can't say I am anything but envious, and it is nice to see that these folks are spending their money to further human curiosity (obviously while given themselves a few extra dollar in the long run). Cameron is truly utilizing his title as Explorer-in-Resident from National Geographic with this one.
For those of you who haven't heard, James Cameron (the mind who brought you Titanic and Avatar) has secretly been building a human sized sardine can for which he can dive into the Mariana Trench -- nearly seven miles under water. He has kept it under wraps to undermine Branson and his attempt to get down there with his sponsored program -- you guessed it -- Virgin Oceanic.
In 1960, the U.S. Navy sent down a sub to explore the trench. However, after five hours of descent, they were only able to spend 20 minutes at the sea's floor. They weren't able to see anything as they kicked up silt which surrounded the sub in a cloud of impenetrable mystery.
In recent years, there have been cameras dropped down to the floor to see glimpses into the life seven miles deep, but never has there been a person to watch, collect samples, and film this unexplored territory. He plans to spend six hours down there studying and filming.
This month, Cameron is going to can himself up (the hatch is literally bolted shut from the outside) and bring his sub, dubbed the Deepsea Challenger, to the deep side of the pool in hope to break records, and make history.
Enjoy this little video on the mission.