- By Richard Branson -
- Mar 26, 2012
Mankind’s desire to explore the world in which we live is something that will never fail to impress me, with James Cameron’s historic dive down to the ocean’s deepest point another fine example of the boundaries of human endeavour being pushed to their limits.
Laying seven miles beneath the western Pacific Ocean, the Mariana Trench is one of the least accessible places on earth. Jim deserves all the hearty congratulations that come his way in the next few days. His solo trip of over two hours to the ocean floor in his Deepsea Challenger is a mighty achievement.
His success has only added to the excitement surrounding our upcoming Virgin Oceanic voyage to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean later in the year. The Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest place in the Atlantic and is deeper than Mount Everest is high, and with it not being previously explored it should prove to be quite an adventure.
Tests have been going well for Oceanic, with all signs pointing towards a ground breaking few years of ocean exploring for both Jim and Virgin Oceanic. While Jim’s own sub has the edge in terms of vertical dive and (fittingly) filming, our own sub is better at exploring – together forming the perfect team!
It’s so pleasing to see seven years of hard work pay off for Jim. He has managed to increase our understanding of what lies at the bottom of the sea and set out a blueprint for future ocean exploration. It’s also important to remember that this achievement and type of exploration is something that national governments have failed to achieve, making efforts by individuals even more impressive.
The advantage and value of explorers being so proactive is the opportunity it gives us for future scientific discovery. In the years ahead both crafts can be utilised by scientists to do essential research, on both the oceans and the species that live in them.
It’s feats such as these which make me even more convinced that the work we are doing, with the likes of Virgin Oceanic and Virgin Galactic, are so worthwhile and important in mankind’s development.
Here’s to an exciting year ahead for all!
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group