Triple Crown

James Cameron just completed a solo ‘test-dive’ to 8000-meters: before his world record breaking descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench which lies at: 14,764 feet deep = 16,000 pounds per square inch pressure or 2.304 million pounds per square foot or 1,089 atmospheres. That will compress you to less than one inch square – ‘unprotected’!

National Geographic: “Squeezed into a submersible as futuristic as anything in his movies, James Cameron intends to descend solo to the ocean’s deepest point within weeks, the Canadian filmmaker and explorer announced Thursday.

Just Tuesday, during testing off Papua New Guinea, Cameron dived deeper than any other human has on a solo mission. Now he aims to become the first human to visit the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep in more than 50 years—and to return with animals, images, and data that were unthinkable in 1960.”

FACT: If Mount Everest were dropped into the Mariana Trench, its peak would still be more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) underwater. Learn more about this crescent-shaped scar in the Earth’s crust.

James Cameron: “Sitting down there at 27000′ feet, alone in the dark, with no comms, no contact whatsoever with the world so far above, and nothing but the ingenuity of the engineering to get me back… it’s simultaneously scary and exhilarating. It’s the precipice we put ourselves on by choice, to test ourselves and our machines. I configured the cameras to get a good shot of the weights coming off and hitting the seafloor in 3D, but I can’t say I spent an undue amount of time on the lighting. I wanted to see those babies jettisoned as quick as possible. It’s a good feeling when 350kg comes off, with the characteristic “SHOONK” as the weight carriages run down the slide-rails.”

Lloyd Borrett – “I’m surprised at how little media coverage this magnificent challenge is getting, especially here in Australia. After all, it’s Australian designed, built in Sydney with a lot of Aussies involved. But more than that, it’s a true adventure story, that combines man’s need to explore and learn more, with technology, science and innovation.”

Meanwhile, Felix Baumgartner of Project ‘Stratos Red Bull’ – successfully jumped from 71, 580 feet on the edge of space in the first test jump leading up to this summer’s 120,000 foot record attempt. He has one more test flight/jump from 90,000 feet coming up…

And not forgetting my mentor and co-skipper – Australian Jon Sanders, who holds the absolute ‘horizontal’ ‘World Distance Record’ of 71,023-nautical miles nonstop solo – all that remains is the 100,000-nautical mile barrier!

– BJ Caldwell

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