Sunday, March 25, 2012

First Photos of James Cameron's Dive to Challenger Deep

James Cameron reached Challenger Deep at 7:52 AM this morning while I was having breakfast overlooking Hagatna Bay (meaning he was 190 miles southwest of and 7 miles below me).  National Geographic has made available photos to journalists covering the dive.  Since the Saipan Blog is Saipan's Most Popular Blog Since Ever Since, I emailed them to see if I could post the photos, and lo and behold, they agreed!  Check out these photos of Mr. Cameron moments before he descended 7 miles to the bottom.  I imagine it is only a matter of time before we see photos of the bottom.
Filmmaker James Cameron Reaches Bottom of Mariana Trench

In a historic solo dive to the bottom of the world, famed filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron reached the “Challenger Deep,” the lowest part of the ocean, located in the Mariana Trench, on Monday, March 26, at 7:52 a.m. local time (Sunday, March 25, 5:52 p.m. Eastern Time). The depth was recorded at 35,756 feet. In his specially designed submersible DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, he plans to spend up to six hours on the Pacific Ocean seafloor, collecting samples for scientific research. He also will be documenting the Mariana Trench via still photographs and moving images.

Cameron’s first words on reaching the bottom: “All systems OK.”

The dive is part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, National Geographic and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research and exploration. Cameron is the only individual ever to complete the dive to the “Challenger Deep” in a solo vehicle and the first since 1960 to reach the deepest point in the world in a manned submersible, when the feat was completed by U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard in the bathyscaphe Trieste.

Follow Cameron’s “Challenger Deep” expedition at www.DEEPSEACHALLENGE.com; on Twitter by following @DeepChallenge or using #deepseachallenge; or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deepseachallenge. 

Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

The DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible carrying filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron is hoisted into the Pacific Ocean on its way to the “Challenger Deep,” the deepest part of the Mariana Trench. The dive was part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research.

Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic
Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron slides into the hatch of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible as he prepares for his record dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The dive was part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research.

Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence  James Cameron has a final conversation with ocean explorer and U.S. Navy Capt. Don Walsh, right, just before the hatch on the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible is closed and the voyage to the deepest part of the ocean begins. Walsh took the same journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench 52 years ago in the bathyscaphe Trieste, with Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard. Cameron is the first person to complete the dive solo. The dive was part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research.

Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron gets a handshake from ocean explorer and U.S. Navy Capt. Don Walsh, right, just before the hatch on the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible is closed and the voyage to the deepest part of the ocean begins. Walsh took the same journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench 52 years ago in the bathyscaphe Trieste with Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard. Cameron is the first person to complete the dive solo. The dive was part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research.

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