Wednesday, 28 March 2012

James Cameron Begins Descent to Ocean's Deepest Point

After years of preparation and days of uncooperative weather,James Cameron, at approximately 3:15 p.m. ET (5:15 a.m., local time), began descending solo to Earth's deepest, and perhaps most alien, realm, according to members of the National Geographic expedition.
If all goes to plan, within two hours of his submersible's launch, the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker should become the first human to reachthe Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep alone—and the only one to explore it in depth, in person.
Cameron's "vertical torpedo" of a sub, as he calls it, has already made the nearly 7-mile (11-kilometer) trip to Challenger Deep and back, unmanned and unscathed, Cameron told National Geographic News on Friday. (See pictures of Cameron's sub.)
"We did some test launches and recoveries, and we did an unpiloted dive of the vehicle," Cameron said in a phone interview Friday.
In predawn darkness Monday, local time, Cameron folded himself into the cockpit—a steel sphere as cramped as any Apollo capsule—and the hatch was literally bolted shut.

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