(Video: RT via National Geographic Society)
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron completed a record-breaking dive to the lowest point of the Mariana Trench, when his "vertical torpedo" sub broke the surface of the western Pacific, some 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of Guam. (See raw video above). Cameron emerged from the pilot's capsule around noon, local time (10 p.m. ET March 25th). The Mariana Trench's `Challenger Deep' - the deepest point on Earth - "looks as bleak & barren as the moon", according to Cameron. After a descent that took roughly 2 1/2 hours, Cameron spent about 3 hours in the trench, filming, before making an even quicker than expected 70-minute ascent to the surface. (Read more at NatGeo)
Titanic filmmaker & ocean enthusiast James Cameron has become the 1st solo explorer to reach the deepest point of the world - the western Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench - just east of the 14 Mariana Islands (11"21' North latitude; 142" 12' East longitude) near Japan. The deepest part of the Mariana Trench is called `The Challenger Deep', so named after the British exploratory vessel HMS Challenger II, a fishing boat converted into a sea lab by Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard, which 1st pinpointed & surveyed the trench's deepest point, giving it the name, "The Challenger Deep".
Only 4 descents have ever been achieved. The 1st manned descent was by Trieste in 1960. In March of 1995, the Japanese unmanned submarine Kaiko - a sophisticated vessel with a highly accurate positioning system - allowed scientists to gather important data without the need to endanger a human diver.
Cameron took his own custom built submarine - the lime green `Vertical Torpedo' - almost 7 miles down - leaving the ocean's surface at approximately 2:00am local time, touching down in the Mariana Trench at 7:52am (5:52pm EDT) according to a statement from the National Geographic Society, which is sponsoring the expedition. In the trench Cameron is experiencing total darkness at 36,000 ft. below the surface & is expected to spend 6 hours collecting samples & filming in 3D. Cameron tweeted: "Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can't wait to share what I'm seeing w/ you @DeepChallenge".