James Cameron has announced he will soon make a 7-mile dive into the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean–the deepest point on earth– and he’ll be doing it alone! No human has attempted such a dive since 1960.
He will be operating his custom-built one-man submarine and plans to spend as much as six hours on the ocean floor where he will be, as expected, filming. The sub is called the Deepsea Challenger and, honestly, at these depths it is questionable if comms will even work. The last manned descent, done by the Bathyscape Trieste and Navy Lieutenant Don Clark, took 5 hours but this ship can do it in two! The former only spent 20 minutes on the ocean floor.
The sub’s power source is lithium ion, like that of the new Toyota Prius, but about 3-times the size. When Cameron reaches the surface, a flashing LED and acoustic nav system will alert a rescue crew as he cannot exit the sub on his own. Cameron told the New York Times, “You’d be an idiot not to be apprehensive, but I trust the design. You’re going into one of the most unforgiving places on earth.”
He very well could be trapped in the sub for hours after surfacing; the sub will mostly likely not surface at the same point as the dive.