Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Only the Third Person in Human History Visits the Challenger Deep

If you should by chance find yourself in the Pacific Ocean - 62 miles southwest of Guam in the Pacific Ocean and 35,756 feet straight down, you might find it interesting to know that you are in very elite company. For you have entered into the Challenger Deep portion of the Mariana Trench, the lowest point on Earth, or the deepest part of the Pacific ocean.

Until March 26 2012 the only submarine to visit this area was Navy submersible Trieste, which carried the only two people who had ever dived on the deep, Don Walsh, a retired United States Navy captain, and Jacques Piccard, a Swiss engineer, reached the spot on Jan. 23, 1960.

On March 26th film director and James Cameron became the third person to bottom of the deep, in the submarine Deepsea Challenger .  Cameron's attempt is even more unusual in that he did the dive solo and there-for the first and only person to do so.

At 35 thousand plus feet below the surface, pressure on a vehicle reaches a staggering 16,000 pounds per square inch, rivaling the atmospheric pressure on the surface of Venus. The environment, at this depth, is so hostile that more people have visited the moon.

NY Times Environment article  Wiki Deepsea Challenger article

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