We wish James Cameron a successful deep sea challenge! According to the Deep Sea Challenge site the search officially began today!
After years of preparation and days of uncooperative weather conditions, James Cameron, at approximately 2 p.m. ET (4 a.m., local time), began descending solo to Earth's deepest, and perhaps most alien, realm, according to members of the National Geographic expedition.
If all goes to plan, within two hours of his submersible's launch, the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker should become the first human to reach the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep alone—and the only one to explore it in depth, in person.
Cameron's "vertical torpedo" of a sub, as he calls it, has already made the nearly 7-mile (11-kilometer) trip to Challenger Deep and back, unmanned and unscathed, Cameron told National Geographic News on Friday. (See pictures of Cameron's sub.)
"We did some test launches and recoveries, and we did an unpiloted dive of the vehicle," Cameron said in a phone interview Friday.
Folded into a sub cockpit as cramped as any Apollo capsule, Cameron will collect data, specimens, and imagery unthinkable in 1960, when Walsh and Piccard left Challenger Deep having seen little more than the silt stirred up by their bathyscaphe.
After as long as six hours in the trench, Cameron—best known for creating fictional worlds on film (Avatar, Titanic, The Abyss)—will jettison steel weights attached to the sub and shoot back to the surface.
Meanwhile, Cameron's team will await his return aboard the research ships Mermaid Sapphire and Barakuda.
Despite the confining conditions and extreme isolation of the sub and the dive, physician Joe MacInnis said he's not worried about Cameron's health during the Mariana Trench dive. (Find out more about what Cameron will experience.)
"He's like the early Mercury astronauts. He's alone in a capsule, and now he's spent enough time in that very confined crew cabin to really be comfortable," said MacInnis, a long-time Cameron friend and a member of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE project, a partnership with the National Geographic Society and Rolex. (The Society owns National Geographic News.) READ MORE HERE
Add a Comment