Cameron to go down 11km in the Pacific

MUMBAI: James Cameron is soon to dive to the deepest place on Earth in a one-man submarine. His vessel, named the Deepsea Challenger, will carry him 11km down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific.

The director will spend his nine-hour dive in a thick, metal sphere with an internal diameter of just 109cm (43in) where he will be unable to stretch his arms or legs. The rest of the sub is made from specially designed syntactic foam, similar to the material from which a surf board is made. It counterbalances the weight of the pilot?s compartment, which will have to protect Cameron from 1,000 atmospheres of pressure.

When Cameron attempts the Mariana dive, a science team headed up by Doug Bartlett from the Scripps Institute will be dropping a lander fitted with 3D cameras and baited to attract any passing life.

Don Walsh, who made the first and the only manned mission to the Mariana Trench with Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard in 1960, has joined the team. Once they can get a few days of good weather, the team hopes to first make an unmanned 11km dive with the sub to check that it works properly and then send Cameron down.

Cameron and his team had earlier performed a similar feat; taking a successful 8,200m test-dive in Papua New Guinea.

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