To make its descent about 11 miles into the Pacific Ocean, the director of “Titanic” and “Avatar” used a submarine named Deepsea Challenger 12 tons.
According to Stephanie Montgomery of the National Geographic Society, which controls the expedition, Mr. Cameron has completed the trip shortly before 8 am Monday, local time,
He plans to spend six hours to explore and film the Mariana Trench, located about 320 km southwest of the American island of Guam. It will collect such samples for biologists and geologists.
“All systems are correct” were the first words transmitted by the 57 year old man on his arrival at the site to 10.898 m deep after a journey of two hours, according to a statement issued by the National Geographic Society.
The size of the pit is hard to imagine. It is 120 times wider than the Grand Canyon and it is so deep that Mount Everest could be swallowed whole.
“It’s really the first time that human eyes are able to land on this almost alien landscape,” said Terry Garcia, vice president of mission programs of the National Geographic Society, in a telephone interview from Pitlochry, Scotland.
The first and only time someone has plunged so deeply into the ocean dates back to 1960. The Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh had taken nearly five hours to get to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, where they stayed 20 minutes.
They did, however, could not tell much about their return because of sand raised by their submarine which had prevented a clear view of what surrounded them.
“Mr. Cameron will see things that none of us has ever seen. It will provide access to new worlds scientists, “said Mr. Garcia.
One risk associated with this type of diving is the very high pressure water. At 10.9 km below the surface, the pressure is equivalent to having the weight of three sport utility vehicles on a toe.
The filmmaker, who was making a dive at 8.2 km depth near Papua, New Guinea, revealed that a single leak could cause the explosion of the submarine.
James Cameron’s passion for oceanography dates back to childhood. He completed 72 dives deep water, 33 to visit the wreck of the Titanic, the subject of his 1997 blockbuster, which will be launched next month in 3D version.