In a historic solo dive to the bottom of the world, famed filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron reached the “Challenger Deep,” the lowest part of the ocean, located in the Mariana Trench, on Monday, March 26, at 7:52 a.m. local time (Sunday, March 25, 5:52 p.m. Eastern Time). The depth was recorded at 35,756 feet. In his specially designed submersible DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, he plans to spend up to six hours on the Pacific Ocean seafloor, collecting samples for scientific research. He also will be documenting the Mariana Trench via still photographs and moving images. For National Geographic coverage on the dive, go to http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120325-james-cameron-mariana-trench-challenger-deep-deepest-science-sub/.
Cameron’s first words on reaching the bottom: “All systems OK.”
The dive is part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, National Geographic and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research and exploration. Cameron is the only individual ever to complete the dive to the “Challenger Deep” in a solo vehicle and the first since 1960 to reach the deepest point in the world in a manned submersible, when the feat was completed by U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard in the bathyscaphe Trieste.
Follow Cameron’s “Challenger Deep” expedition at www.DEEPSEACHALLENGE.com; on Twitter by following @DeepChallenge or using #deepseachallenge; or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deepseachallenge.