Director James Cameron’s Marina Trench dive was a record-breaking success. As the third person to make the 7-mile journey to the ocean’s deepest point, he traveled alone aboard the Deepsea Challenger in the western Pacific Ocean. Get details and see pictures and video of the historic exploration.
Article Continues Below Ad
The scientific exploration, entitled the Deepsea Challenge project, after the name of the vessel which made the descent to the ocean depth with Cameron as its sole passenger, is a partnership with the National Geographic Society and Rolex. James Cameron, director of iconic blockbuster movies including Titanic and Avatar is a National Geographic explorer-in-residence. In training for and completing the mission, he became the first person ever to make the solo mission, and, as noted, the third person ever to reach the bottom of the ocean at Mariana Trench.. The previous mission was a two-man mission in 1960. According to National Geographic, his descent to the extreme depth of 6.8 miles below the water’s surface took 2 hours and 36 minutes. During his exploration at the ocean’s bottom, he had equipment to collect scientific data. The vessel then made a 70-minute ascent back to the surface where it was retrieved by the research ship.
From National Geographic News:
Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Don Walsh, who descended to Challenger Deep in 1960, said he was pleased to hear that Cameron had reached the underwater valley safely.
“That was a grand moment, to welcome him to the club,” Walsh, said in a telephone interview from the sub-support ship.
“There’re only three of us in it, and one of them—late Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard—”is dead. Now it’s just Jim and myself.”
Expedition physician Joe MacInnis called Cameron’s successful descent today “the ultimate test of a man and his machine.”
The article goes on to note the extensively documentation:
Throughout the Mariana Trench dive, 3-D video cameras were kept whirring, and not just for the benefit of future audiences of planned documentaries.
“There is scientific value in getting stereo images because … you can determine the scale and distance of objects from stereo pairs that you can’t from 2-D images,” Cameron told National Geographic News before the dive.
But “it’s not just the video. The sub’s lighting of deepwater scenes—mainly by an 8-foot (2.5-meter) tower of LEDs—is “so, so beautiful,” said Doug Bartlett, a marine biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California.
Get the full story at National Geographic where you will find a wealth of resources including photos, video, interviews with scientists, background and biography of participants and more.
Watch video below.