‘Avatar’ Director Completes Historic Dive

March 26, 2012 by staff 

‘Avatar’ Director Completes Historic Dive, Oscar-winning director James Cameron resurfaced Monday after plunging to the deepest known point in the world’s oceans in his one-man submersible.

“@JimCameron has surfaced! Congrats to him on his historic solo dive to the ocean’s deepest point,” said a tweet from his DeepSea Challenge team.

The filmmaker reached Challenger Deep, which is part of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean, near Guam, at 7:52 a.m. Monday (5:52 p.m. ET Sunday), said Ellen Stanley, a spokeswoman for the National Geographic Society that is working with Cameron on the project.

At more than 10,900 meters (about 35,800 feet), the Mariana Trench is deeper than Mount Everest is tall. And it has had only two previous human visitors: U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and late Swiss explorer Jacques Piccard who descended to that spot in 1960.

The man behind the blockbuster hits “Titanic” and “Avatar” went down in a high-tech vessel, the Deepsea Challenger, which he and a group of scientists and engineers constructed in Australia over the past eight years.

Outfitted with special cameras and robotic arms, Deepsea Challenger is able to dive vertically at speeds of 500 to 700 feet per minute and can withstand immense pressure — up to 16,000 pounds per square inch.

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