Not only has James Cameron reached the deepest point in the Mariana Trench, he’s tweeted to let us all know! That’s an amazing use of technology given that he is about 7,000 feet deeper than Mt. Everest is tall! To say conditions down there are inhospitable to human life is to put it mildly. The pressure down there is 8 tons per square inch. The water is near freezing in temperature. It’s perpetually dark. And – One leak and it’s all over. Still, Cameron is reported to have said once he’s underway, he puts his trust in the engineering and focuses on the dive.
Cameron is piloting a one-man sub named the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER. The capsule he sits in is shaped like a sphere because that is the strongest shape under pressure. To keep the pilot from being subjected to the changes in pressure, the pressure stays constant in the pilot’s space. The DEEPSEA CHALLENGER is only 43 inches wide and is so cramped that Cameron has to keep his knees bent. There’s a payload bay for any samples he collects while he’s down at the bottom.
James Cameron is the Expedition Leader, Submersible Co-deisgner, and Pilot. He’s led seven previous deep-ocean expeditions. Cameron is also the one who explored the wreck of the Titanic and made an Oscar-winning film about the ship. It’s been a long-term goal of his to explore the Challenger Deep – the deepest point in the Mariana Trench.