Billionaire plans deep-ocean submarine dives

Posted on 07 April 2011
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Adventurer Richard Branson announced Tuesday that he plans to travel to one of the deepest parts of the ocean in a single-person submarine.

Branson said that over the next two years, the solo craft will go to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic's Puerto Rico Trench and South Sandwich Trench, the Diamantina Trench in the Indian Ocean and the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean.

Branson's fellow explorer, Chris Welsh, plans to make the first descent later this year to the Mariana Trench, which at 36,000 feet is deeper than Mount Everest is high. Branson then plans to explore the 28,000-foot-deep Puerto Rico Trench.

The pilots for the other three trips have not been chosen.

"Man has not explored our ocean," the Virgin Atlantic founder said in an interview at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

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Click here for a video of the vessel.