Saturday, March 03, 2012

James Cameron Will Dive The Mariana Trench ALONE, Bolted Inside! Photo!

**Apparently the earlier sub photo was not accurate. The one pictured below is believed to be the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER.

knew it was coming and now it's getting close. While I was at the movies last night (saw THE LORAX - great movie!) one of our great readers sent me in a link to National Geographic (NG) of a video showing James Cameron's new submarine and the fact that NG will air the dive too!

I can't believe I missed seeing this video! It's been removed. Oh well, my reader (thanks Joanna!!) insists that it is the same pea-green craft as posted in this piece.

At this point we are not sure if the dive will be live or taped, but details to follow. What we DO know is not only this video was taken down, but so was a story posted by CNN - we have the cached link however!

Here's what we know so far:
- 3D cameras on board will record everything that goes on down there. And by down there, I mean the Mariana Trench - Challenger Deep at 35,800 feet (almost seven miles). The deepest and most remote place on Earth.
- Cameron has spent the last seven years building a unique manned submersible called the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER capable of diving to the ocean's greatest depths.
- Only one other team has made it to this depth before, in 1960 the navy sent the TRIESTE to 35,797 where they spent 20 harrowing minutes before leaving.
- He plans to spend six hours in the pitch-black waters on the ocean floor using remote arms to collect samples for research in marine biology, microbiology, astrobiology, marine geology and geophysics.
- A documentary will likely ensue the dive with the fresh 3D footage caught for the world to see.
- The first person to reach Challenger Deep will be awarded $10 million by the X-Prize Foundation. However clearly the money is not why Cameron is into this - it's his personal passion.

From CNN: "At 35,800 feet there is over 1085 atmospheres of pressure, translating to 16,000 lbs\sq in, or 2.3 million pounds of pressure per square foot. Hard to believe any man-made submarine could withstand that kind of pressure. Pretty amazing. And I’d say it takes guts to put yourself in that kind of situation. The GOOD news is that, if something DID give at that depth, the implosion would be so fast and total you’d never feel it."

...or as the Telegraph puts it: "...equivalent to 8,000 elephants standing on a Mini Cooper."

"Jim is a remarkable guy who's never trained as an engineer but has an intuitive grasp of engineering details that far surpass a lot of the professionals I've known," US Navy Captain Don Walsh, 80, told The Sunday Telegraph. "He hasn't wasted a lot of time trumpeting to the world, 'We're going to do this.' He wants to make sure he's got it right and then he'll tell the world. He's a pretty high profile person and he doesn't want to screw up royally."

Further: Losing pressure in the passenger compartment would cause his battery-powered vessel to implode. Even the tiniest leak would send a jet of water rushing in at such high-pressure that it would slice the craft in half. "There have been white-knuckle moments, complete power failures where we've had to use emergency ballast systems to get back," he admitted in an interview with Popular Mechanics magazine last year, adding: "Yeah, your life is at risk any time you go into a hostile environment like that - but you trust the engineering."

Trust me. We're on this. Stay tuned for more!! It's going to get white knuckled around here...

Sources: National Geographic | CNN | NeoGAF | Telegraph | Ecorazzi

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