Back on March 26, 2012, James Cameron ventured into the Earth’s deepest and darkest point, the bottom of the ocean. And he did so in a successful solo dive almost seven miles into the Mariana Trench while piloting the Deepsea Challenger. The Deepsea Challenge is a joint scientific project between National Geographic, Rolex and James Cameron to explore the deep-sea and conduct research.
This record-breaking solo dive is the first of its kind in over 50 years. Its purpose was to reach the deepest point of the Pacific Ocean in about two hours from descent. “Imagination feeds exploration, Cameron says. “You have to imagine the possible before you can go and do it.”
For the actual vessel itself, Cameron and Nat Geo had Acheron Project Pty Ltd. and Design + Industry, both located in Australia, reach out to LSM Advanced Composites to manufacture the internal lining of the Pilot Sphere out of carbon fiber. And Umeco Structural Materials, located in the UK, produced the prepreg carbon fiber used to manufacture the internal lining. The Pilot Sphere is where the pilot was during the submersile. It is only 43 inches in diameter so Cameron spent the entire time with his knees bent and unable to fully extend his arms while inside.
The Challenge is now in its second phase which is essentially analyzing their findings. To learn more be sure to watch the documentary ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Earth’.