The rumors hit hard earlier this week that James Cameron was finally getting ready to fulfill his dream to dive to the deepest part of the ocean – aka, the imposing 35,994 ft. deep Mariana Trench.
While the “Avatar” director has been working in private for several years to build a custom sub capable of making the plunge (naturally loaded with the latest in high-tech goodies), he only made his plans public in September 2010.
The two-seater submersible will be fitted with a heating system, 3D cameras, and other scientific equipment to capture pictures and samples of the depths. If successful, the filmmaker and his co-pilot would become only the second manned-submersible team to make it to the bottom of the trench. In 1960, a scientist and navy lieutenant descended five hours in the submersible “Trieste” to 35,797 ft, where they spent just 20 minutes before beginning their ascent.
Anyways, rumors of Cameron’s planned dive (the director or his team have yet to say anything) gained a bit more traction after CNN posted, then pulled, a story (see the cached article here) confirming that test dives were underway leading to the main event sometime soon.
“Watch CNN TV this week for exclusive coverage of James Cameron’s final test dives before his attempt to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench.”
So yea, CNN appears to have an “in” with the team making tests; reportedly off the coast of Australia. But did they reveal too much?
A search for “James Cameron” and “Mariana” on the site gives us 2 videos and 1 article detailing the upcoming dive. Attempt to view or read any of them and you’re hit with errors or expirations.
Did something go wrong with one of tests? As retired U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh, one of the men who descended in the Trieste, told the UK Telegraph, Cameron won’t show the world anything unless it’s perfect.
“Jim is a remarkable guy who’s never trained as an engineer but has an intuitive grasp of engineering details that far surpass a lot of the professionals I’ve known,” Walsh said. “He hasn’t wasted a lot of time trumpeting to the world, ‘We’re going to do this.’ He wants to make sure he’s got it right and then he’ll tell the world. He’s a pretty high-profile person and he doesn’t want to screw up royally.”
And screwing up royally on this kind of adventure means instant death; something this commenter on the CNN story alluded to.
“At 35,800 feet there is over 1085 atmospheres of pressure, translating to 16,000 lbs\sq in, or 2.3 million pounds of pressure per square foot,” they wrote. “Hard to believe any man-made submarine could withstand that kind of pressure. Pretty amazing. And I’d say it takes guts to put yourself in that kind of situation. The GOOD news is that, if something DID give at that depth, the implosion would be so fast and total you’d never feel it.”
Good luck, Jim.