the Deepsea ChallengerChallenger Deep
Since filming the wreckage of the Titanic for his film, James Cameron has had a bit of an obsession with the underwater world. He’s now a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, and working with the organisation, as well as NASA and Scripps, he designed and built the electric-powered Deepsea Challenger which will be capable of diving to depths of seven miles.
The last time humans descended into the Challenger Deep was in 1960 when the Navy’s Trieste bathyscaphe took Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard to the ocean floor. The decent took them five hours, but Cameron’s sub can do it in just two. And while they spent a mere 20 minutes on the bottom, the Deepsea Challenger can linger for up to six hours, providing lots of opportunity for research and exploration.
It also goes without saying that James Cameron plans to capture a bit of footage while he’s down there. The cramped sub is equipped with four hi-def cameras and features a seven-foot wall of LEDs on the outside. An essential accessory given the sun’s rays have a hard time reaching seven miles below the ocean’s surface. [National Geographic via The Scuttlefish]