At 10,912 meters (35,800 ft) below sea level the Mariana Trench is the deepest point on our planet. It is so deep in fact that it has only been visited by humans once and that was back in 1960 when explorers Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard made the perilous voyage to the bottom of the sea. That means that more men have walked on the moon than have visited the trench, which is simply amazing when you think about it. Now, director James Cameron is planning on diving into the trench as well and, as you would expect, he plans to make a movie about the experience.
Last week Cameron completed testing of the specially designed and built submersible that he’ll use on this dive. On the last test run he took the vehicle down to about five miles below the surface of the Earth and the equipment all checked out and performed to spec. Following that shakedown cruise he immediately traveled to Guam, where he is making the final preparations for his journey into the trench, which runs for more than 1500 miles along the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
The expedition is being called the Deepsea Challenge and Cameron has partnered with both National Geographic and Rolex on this endeavor. During the dive, he’ll spend approximately five hours at the trench’s lowest point, known as the Challenger Deep, where he hopes to gather a variety of samples to be used in a number of research projects. The voyage down and back up will take an additional 90 minutes in both directions and all the while he’ll be filming the expedition in High Definition 3D. That footage will be used in a documentary, most likely for IMAX, sometime down the line.
There is no exact date yet set for the dive, but Cameron and his team are working towards launching the expedition in the near future. The video below gives us a bit of perspective on what he can expect as he makes this journey to the ocean’s deepest point.
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