Director James Cameron is building a submarine that can plunge nearly 11,000m beneath the surface of the ocean. If he can pull it off, he could win a $US10 million X Prize and shoot footage for an Avatar sequel simultaneously.
The Daily Mail first reported the story, saying the sub would be made of composite materials and powered by electric motors. It would have to survive the immense pressures experienced at 11km below the surface of the ocean, where Cameron hopes to shoot 3D footage to incorporate into the second Avatar film.
The sub would be designed to explore the Challenger Deep, a 11,000m deep depression in the southern end of the Mariana Trench. It’s the deepest known spot in the ocean and has only been explored three times – but since the first daring 1960 attempt in the Trieste, no one has tried a manned descent.
Attempting such a feat would hardly be a first for the director, who has waded into deep waters several times on behalf of his films, including Titanic and Aliens of the Deep. The Avatar sequel will reportedly be set in the fictional oceans of Pandora.
Later this year, the X Prize Foundation is expected to formally announce a $US10 million award to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Trieste’s dive. The winnings will go to the first privately funded sub to make two repeat manned descents to Challenger Deep.
Not content to earn more money than anyone in the history of moving pictures, HMFIC apparently wants an X Prize too.