One of the foremost and world renowned billionaire and the owner of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson has now expanded his exploration endeavors with the unveiling of an all new deep sea exploration single man submarine that has been designed and developed to reach the five deepest parts of the world’s oceans. This cutting edge submarine will be operated under the Virgin Oceanic brand umbrella and will be aimed at providing invaluable data to researchers and scientists alike in regards to world’s oceans and marine life along with those parts of the oceans that have so far been uncharted and could reveal a wealth of information. As per the plans for the submarine, the entire expedition is expected to take the submarine’s occupants to the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Rico Trench and South Sandwich Trench in the Atlantic Ocean, the Diamantina Trench in the Indian Ocean and the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean. For its maiden voyage, the submarine will be piloted by explorer, Chris Welsh, who will be exploring the depths of Mariana Trench later this year going as deep as 36,000 feet, while the second journey will be undertaken by the billionaire himself, who will explore the Puerto Rico Trench at 28,000 feet.
This incredible new submarine took about $17 million in the making along with the accompanying magnificent catamaran and Sir Richard Branson aims at setting an astounding 30 Guinness World Records with the dives. The submarine has been crafted from carbon fiber and titanium and is capable of achieving cruising for nearly 6.2 miles, while being independently operating for a maximum duration of 24 hours. This entire project has been the fruition of a phenomenal collaboration between Sir Richard Branson and a number of high profile research institutions such as the likes of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego as well as Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Moss Landing Marine Labs in Northern California. The missions to these deepest fathoms of the ocean are aimed to assist scientists who plan on studying the tectonic plates and later send in lander vehicles for extraction of water, microbes and small creature samples. Apart from this fabulous single man submarine, Branson has also stated his plans to commissioning of a larger submarine that would then be rented out to tourists for a fee.
Two years after one of the worst economic recessions in recent times, though the world is still reeling under the after-shocks of the downturn, Sir Richard Branson has been actively expanding his reach into the various verticals of the luxury market such as the hospitality industry as well as high profile tourism, such as the renting out of his private island, Necker Island to tourists for a price tag of $53,000 a night.
In a statement, Sir Richard Branson said,
“If someone says something is impossible, we like to prove it’s possible. I love learning and I’m just very fortunate to participate in these kinds of adventures.”
Via Yahoo! News