National Geographic

DEEPSEA CHALLENGE

Inside the Expedition

Photos: DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Launch

<em>Photograph by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic</em><br>Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron has a final conversation with ocean explorer and U.S. Navy Capt. Don Walsh (far right) just before the hatch on the <em>DEEPSEA CHALLENGER</em> submersible is closed and the voyage to the deepest part of the ocean begins. Walsh went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench 52 years ago in the bathyscaphe <em>Trieste</em>, with Jacques Piccard. Cameron is the first to dive solo.<em>Photograph by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic</em><br> Cameron slides into the pilot sphere of the <em>DEEPSEA CHALLENGER</em> as he prepares to make his record solo dive.<em>Photograph by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic</em><br>The <em>DEEPSEA CHALLENGER</em>, carrying Cameron, is hoisted into the Pacific Ocean on its way to the Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the Mariana Trench.<em>Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic</em><br> Cameron emerges from the <em>DEEPSEA CHALLENGER</em> after his successful solo dive to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean.<em>Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic</em><br> Cameron gives two thumbs up as he emerges from the <em>DEEPSEA CHALLENGER</em> after his successful solo dive to the Challenger Deep.<em>Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic</em><br> Cameron holds the National Geographic Society flag after successfully completing the first ever solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The dive was part of <em>DEEPSEA CHALLENGE</em>, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National Geographic Society, and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research.<em>Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic</em><br> Don Walsh (right) congratulates Cameron after the latter's successful dive to 35,756 feet (10,898 meters) in the Challenger Deep.

Science Partners

  • Additional major support provided by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • University of Guam