World-famous director and explorer James Cameron has decided to donate the submarine he piloted to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in to science — although he hopes to take another trip or two in the Deepsea Challenger.
In an announcement made on the first anniversary of his record-breaking 35, 787 foot-deep descent to the Mariana Trench, Cameron announced he'd be signing over the submersible to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, which will use parts of the submersible initially as add-ons for other subs.
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“The seven years we spent designing and building the Deepsea Challenger were dedicated to expanding the options available to deep-ocean researchers," said Cameron in a Woods Hole press release.
"Our sub is a scientific proof-of-concept, and our partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a way to provide the technology we developed to the oceanographic community," Cameron added.
“Jim’s record-breaking dive was inspirational and helped shine a spotlight on the importance of the deep ocean,” said Woods Hole president and director Susan Avery of the gift.
“We face many challenges in our relationship with the ocean, so there is heightened urgency to implement innovative approaches. Partnerships such as this one represent a new paradigm and will accelerate the progress of ocean science and technology development.”
Cameron has made over 85 submersible dives and told the BBC that he hopes to be able to return to the deep seas again in the Deepsea Challenger.