Discovery of New Species-Richard Branson's Mariana Trench Quest.
Mariana Trench Is Teeming With Life
New species could soon be discovered 11 kilometres deep in the Pacific Ocean. The previously unexplored, deepest part of our planet is known as the Mariana Trench, that lies at the junction of two tectonic plates, the Pacific Plate and the Mariana Plate. It is pitch black with pressure 1,000 times greater than atmospheric pressure at sea level but despite the dangers Sir Richard Branson, billionaire adventurer has teamed with U.S entrepreneur Chris Welsh with plans to explore the Mariana Trench, the deepest, as well as four other trenches.
The Mariana Trench, names after a seventeenth century Spanish Queen is said to be teeming with life and according to Dr Sebastian Holmes a marine biologist from the University of Western Sydney in Australia, we can expect discoveries of a lot of new species that have never been seen or discovered before.
The Bathyscaphe Trieste
One-Man Winged Submarine
A guy by the name of Graham Hawkes has designed a one-person winged submarine that can not only dive but fly around the previously unexplored places of the ocean. Mr Hawkes also created the Deep Rover Submersibles used by film director James Cameron in his IMAX MOVIE Aliens Of The Deep. The last human explorers of the trench in the depths of the pacific were, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard in the American Navys Bathyscaphe Trieste in 1960 as part of a project code-named Project Nekton. the Project was to test if the new class of extreme depth submersible could accomplish scientific and military tasks in the 35,800 ft deep abyss. At 32,400 ft the bathyscape was shaken by a loud explosion which turned out after they returned to the surface, to be one of the bathyscaphes windows cracking under pressure. According to Walsh and Piccard, the sea bottom resembled fine dust and they reported seeing a flat-fish proving that life can survive at extreme deep levels of the ocean.
Virgin Oceanic's DeepFlight Challenger
Specifications of Virgin Oceanic's DeepFlight Challenger
The one-man winged submarine is made from 3630 kilograms of carbon fibre and titanium
It has a quartz viewing dome that will give a 180 degree view.
It can withstand almost 6 kilogram of pressure.
It is pressurised at one atmosphere ( the same pressure a person would experience at sea level) therfore eliminating the needs to wear a special pressure suit.
It can dive at approx 107 metres a minute and will be able to "fly around" at up to 10 kilometres unaided in 24 hours.
It takes off much like a plane on the waters surface by travelling at two knots before diving nose down.
Low wattage LED lighting will be used to cause as little disruption to the sea life as possible
The Five Trenches And Their Depths
Mariana..........about 11 kilometres deep
Diamantina in the Indian Ocean..........about 8 kilometres deep
South Sandwich in the Southern Ocean..........about 7.2 kilometres deep
Puerto Rico in the Atlantic..........about 8.4 kilometres deep
Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean ..........about 5.6 kilometres deep.
Data found will be fed to Google Earth and scientists at research labs in the United States and if the dives are successful, the public would be able to explore on their computers via the free Google program. The dive into the Mariana Trench was expected to take place late 2011 with the other trench dives taking place over the next two years.
Branson Set to Fly into Space 2014
The very first Virgin Galactic flight is set to happen in 2014. Reports indicate Branson will fly with his children on the inaugural flight. Ticket pricing will run into the six figures so that rules out a holiday into space for most of us. The trips will take 2 hours and will put the lucky and the rich 100 kilometres above the earth (source Brisbane Times, Feb. 2014)