The National Geographic explorer and filmmaker’s team left the tiny Pacific atoll of Ulithi (map) in two ships Saturday morning, local time, on the way to the waters above the Mariana Trench. If seas remain calm—a big if—the team may proceed with Cameron’s submersible mission to the trench’s Challenger Deep this weekend.
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
We did some test launches and recoveries, and we did an unpiloted dive of the vehicle,” Cameron said in a phone interview Friday.
Folded into a sub cockpit as cramped as any Apollo capsule, Cameron will collect data, specimens, and imagery unthinkable in 1960, when Walsh and Piccard left Challenger Deep having seen little more than the silt stirred up by their bathyscaphe.
After as long as six hours in the trench, Cameron—best known for creating fictional worlds on film (Avatar, Titanic, The Abyss)—will jettison steel weights attached to the sub and shoot back to the surface.
Meanwhile, Cameron’s team will await his return aboard the research ships Mermaid Sapphire and Barakuda.
Cameron has already gone to the 5 mile bottom of the New Britain Trench
Brian Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
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