Director James Cameron to take record-setting plunge

Mar 24, 2012
James Cameron, the Oscar-winninng director of Avatar and Titanic, is visits the National Geographic headquarters in 2011. Cameron could dive as early as this weekend to the deepest place on Earth, further than any other human has on a solo mission, so long as the weather cooperates.

"Titanic" director James Cameron could dive as early as this weekend to the deepest place on Earth, further than any other human has on a solo mission, so long as the weather cooperates.

The Canadian filmmaker left the tiny Pacific atoll of Ulithi on Saturday headed for the the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep, which plummets 6.8 miles (11 kilometers) down in the Pacific Ocean, according to mission partner the National Geographic .

His goal is to become the first human to visit the ocean's deepest point in more than 50 years, and to bring back data and specimens.

"If seas remain calm -- a big if -- the team may proceed with Cameron's submersible mission to the trench's Challenger Deep this weekend," a National Geographic News report said.

It said the submersible that Cameron designed, a "vertical torpedo" of sorts, already successfully completed an unpiloted dive on Friday.

The sub is expected to allow the director to spend around six hours on the seafloor during which he plans to collect samples and film his journey with several 3-D, high-definition cameras and an eight-foot-tall (2.4-meter-tall) array of LED lights.

In 1960, a two-person crew aboard the US Navy submersible Trieste -- the only humans to have reached -- spent just 20 minutes on the bottom, but their view was obscured by silt stirred up when they landed.

Cameron, 57, has been running several miles a day, practicing yoga to increase his flexibility for the dive in the sub's cramped quarters and studying deep-ocean science, physician Joe MacInnis told National Geographic News.

MacInnis is a member of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE project, a partnership with the National Geographic Society and Rolex.

Cameron already has 72 dives under his belt, including 12 to film "Titanic."

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User comments : 2

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ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Mar 25, 2012
James Cameron is like a modern day Leonardo Da Vinci. I think the combination of his artistry, engineering skills, and scientific curiosity are otherwise unmatched in the world today.

I wish he wouldn't do dangerous stunts like this though. Remotely operated vehicles can perform these same tasks without risk.

But since he isn't seeking my opinion, I can only wish for him a safe journey.

Good luck Mr. Cameron!
Jeddy_Mctedder
1 / 5 (3) Mar 25, 2012
mr. cameron is no da-vinci. if he were he would have thought of more practical ways of exploring the ocean for posterity aka-----a reinvention of the sea-lab meets advanced diving technology, meets advanced submersible drones, meets advanced under water turbine power generation. i can think of MANY advanced ways of attacking the problem of exploring the large area of the oceans that is just 200 meteres deep and contains MOST of the biosphere below the surface of the ocean rather than a self congradulatory attempt at reaching the deepest point below the ocean which , more likely than not is going to resemble the biological activity of mount everest.----extreme and devoid of most life other than microbes. it's a shame he isn't really interested in sinking his time and money on resources that don't all revolve around 'himself' as the glorious aquanaut.

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