Uncovering the secrets of the deep ocean

James Cameron will pilot the 12-ton vehicle that will reach the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Image: DeepSea Challenge/Telstra

After six years of research and preparation, James Cameron and his crew are ready to take a plunge into the Earth’s final frontier.

Little known fact: James Francis Cameron studied physics at Fullerton Junior College.

Known facts: After directing Titanic (1997), James Cameron founded Earthship Productions. The company produces documentaries usually related to ocean exploration such as Ghosts of the Abyss and Aliens of the Deep.

But enough about that…

James Cameron, who is now a National Geographic explorer in residence, is on board the Mermaid Sapphire. Within the next few weeks, he will descend 10,973 metres inside a sophisticated submarine built in Sydney, Australia, that will allow him to explore the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on Earth.

Once he “˜lands,’ the award-winning director will collect samples of never-before-seen marine animals, rocks and images that will allow us to better understand the ocean. With the footage Cameron will produce a 3D documentary that will take us to the ultimate frontier.

“In my world exploration is much more exciting than making movies”¦ Since I was a kid I was fascinated by science, I was an avid reader of science fiction, so the idea of other words, other planets was amazing to me. And what I found out was that there is an alien world right here on our own planet and we can visit it,” said Cameron in a statement.

The submarine will descend at about 5 knots (150 metres) a minute. Image: Telstra

The DeepSea Challenge is a collaboration between James Cameron, the National Geographic Society, Rolex and Telstra. “Telstra’s technology will also create a “˜global classroom’ simultaneously linking students from schools in Perth, Australia, and Malibu, California, via a live three-way connection directly to the boast so they can share first-hand in the excitement of scientific discovery,” said Mark Buckman, Telstra Chief Marketing Officer.

This first manned mission to the deepest place on Earth, will take place within the next few weeks, once the Mermaid Sapphire reaches the Mariana Trench. Follow this historical event at deepseachallenge.com

Little known fact: James Cameron has 72 submersible dives to his credit. He is a member of the Mars Planetary Society and was a member of NASA’s Advisory Council for three years.  We wonder what his next mission will be?

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