This week, filmmaker James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar, The Abyss) hopes to go where only two men have gone before, diving 36,000 feet beneath the sea, to the Mariana Trench, the deepest known place on Earth. It’s basically Mount Everest in the inverse. Cameron plans to make the historic solo journey in The Deepsea Challenger, a 24-foot-long vertical torpedo, built secretly in Australia over the last year eight years. (More on that here.) And when he reaches his destination, he’ll spend six hours shooting 3‑D video of the trench and collecting rocks and rare sea creatures with a robotic arm. Or so that’s the plan.
Above, James Cameron describes his mission in a National Geographic video. Below, you’ll find an animation of the Mariana Trench dive created by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). You can track Cameron’s voyage on the NatGeo website and find a detailed description of the actual dive right here.