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James Cameron dives to Earth's deepest point

National Geographic says that Cameron’s expedition is the deepest ever solo sub dive.

Cameron with the Deep Challenger ahead of his dive.
Cameron with the Deep Challenger ahead of his dive.
Image: Mark Thiessen/AP/PA Images

TITANIC DIRECTOR James Cameron has successfully carried out a submarine dive at the deepest point on Earth.

It is over 50 years since anyone dived to such a depth, and Cameron’s dive is reportedly the deepest ever solo sub dive.

Cameron used the specially-designed submarine Deep Challenger to reach a depth of around seven miles (11km) at the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.

Before carrying out the dive yesterday, Cameron said that the main motivation of the mission backed by the National Geographic Society was to “push back the boundaries of the known world”.

While exploring and filming at the Trench, the director also collected a range of samples “for research in marine biology, microbiology, astrobiology, marine geology and geophysics”, according to the National Geographic Society.

Footage captured by Cameron underwater is expected to be used in a 3D feature film.

Microsoft co-founder and Cameron friend Paul Allen had travelled out for the dive and earlier tweeted this photo of the sub being recovered by the expedition team:

One of the most serious dangers involved in the expedition was the intense pressure which the sub would come under while diving to such extreme depths; the craft would explode if it sprung a leak under those conditions.

Cameron had admitted that the pressure issue “is in the back of your mind” on such projects, but said that “when you are actually on the dive, you have to trust the engineering was done right”.

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The expedition team said that Cameron’s sub rose faster to the surface than expected this morning, but that everything had gone smoothly:

(Video via AssociatedPress)

- Additional reporting by the AP

Watch: James Cameron gears up for new marine exploration project >

Things to do when you’ve been laid off: build a submarine >

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