Monday, March 26, 2012
James Cameron Completes Historic Dive Down Mariana Trench

James Cameron Completes Historic Dive Down Mariana Trench

James Cameron became the third person ever to reach the deepest spot on Earth, reaching the bottom of the Mariana Trench, more than seven miles below the ocean's surface.

Cameron used a specially designed one-man submersible craft named Deepsea Challenger to take him on his 7-hour descent to the bottom of the trench, which is located 200 miles southwest of the Pacific island of Guam.

Cameron broke the water's surface at about 5:15 a.m. Monday local time, according Stephanie Montgomery of the National Geographic Society. There was also a website documenting the journey which was set up by the National Geographic Society.

The director, known for such films as "Titanic" and "Avatar," gave the final go-ahead when he said "RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE," which was posted on Twitter set up for the expedition.

It took 2 hours and 36 minutes before he reached the bottom and was able to study the ocean's floor for several hours before he resurfaced, according to a report issued by National Geographic.

"Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can't wait to share what I'm seeing w/ you," Cameron posted on Twitter.

Cameron made the trip not only to reach a spot on the earth visited by only two people before him, but to collect samples for biologists and geologists to study.

The trench is one of the largest natural formations on Earth. Scientists state that it is more than 100 times larger than the Grand Canyon and is deeper than Mount Everest is tall.

The two explorers before Cameron were Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Capt. Don Walsh. They reached the bottom of the trench in 1960 after a nearly 5-hour trip, but were only able to stay about half an hour.

There is tremendous pressure at those depths and Cameron stated that a thought of having a problem is always "in the back of your mind."

He explained that you have to be confident with the equipment.

"When you are actually on the dive you have to trust the engineering was done right," he told AP.


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