Explorer and Director James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Visits Georgia Aquarium
ATLANTA (June 6, 2013) – On Thursday, June 6, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, the submersible and science platform that James Cameron piloted on March 26, 2012 will arrive in Atlanta before it travels to its permanent home at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts. The four-city tour marks the first time the sub will be shown in public. The arrival of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER comes just in time for World Oceans Day on June 8, a day to celebrate and honor the ocean and to emphasize conservation and protection through research and discovery. Festivities will take place throughout the Aquarium’s galleries and Atrium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and will include activities, giveaways, games and more.
"One of the most critical aspects of exploration, besides actually going there and bringing back the pictures and the science, is the telling of the story. It's vital to communicate to the public, especially students of all ages, what was done, how it was done, and why it was important,” said Cameron. "By telling the story to school-kids in a hands-on way, we can inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists and explorers, who are so vital to the nation. Moving the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER cross-country to its new home at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution provides an opportunity to make the sub available to students and the general public, so they can see it, touch it, and ask questions. This will create a major inspirational dividend of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE project."
The bright green, 24-foot long DEEPSEA CHALLENGER will arrive at Georgia Aquarium on Thursday, June 6 and will be on display between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Scientists traveling with the sub across the country will explain the remarkable human achievement of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition and the groundbreaking technology required for its success.
“One of Georgia Aquarium’s goals is to be a leading facility for aquatic animal conservation and research,” said Dr. Alistair Dove, senior scientist at Georgia Aquarium. “Having DEEPSEA CHALLENGER onsite is a way to visually engage people in research and help them to understand the depth of aquatic science. It is also huge boom for the Aquarium, our guests and our science program.”
The sub’s voyage began at California Science Center in Los Angeles followed up Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. After its stops at Georgia Aquarium, the sub will continue its journey across the United States to Washington DC where it will be on display at Capitol Hill. Its permanent home will be at WHOI.
The sub’s trek across the U.S. comes a little more than a year after Cameron's unprecedented solo dive to 35,787 feet, almost 11,000 meters (6.8 miles), to the deepest place on Earth - the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench - in the marine vehicle the "Avatar" and “Titanic” director and his team engineered.
The DEEPSEA CHALLENGER was specifically engineered to be the first of its kind – a vertically-deployed, manned submersible and robust science platform capable of diving to full ocean depth. The sub’s ability to remain at the bottom of the Challenger Deep for nearly three hours to explore, sample and capture the first high resolution 3D images ever taken of the location, is unprecedented. In 1960, the Trieste, the only other manned submersible to reach the Challenger Deep, was able to stay only 20 minutes on the bottom before ascending. In March, 2013, Cameron donated the sub to WHOI. Upon its arrival in Massachusetts, WHOI scientists and engineers will begin to work with Cameron and his team to incorporate the sub's numerous engineering advancements into future research platforms and deep-sea expeditions. This partnership harnesses the power of public and private investment in supporting deep-ocean science.
Recognizing the power of new technologies, like those embodied in the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER system, to explore and understand the ocean, WHOI recently launched the Center for Marine Robotics (CMR), a novel collaborative model that enhances the development of robotic technologies by bringing together partners from academia, the federal government, and the private sector. The CMR's scientists and engineers will revolutionize the way people and machines work together in the marine environment and enable new approaches to complex scientific challenges. James Cameron will serve on the Center's Advisory Board.
DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, Cameron’s eighth deep-ocean expedition, marks a globally-recognized milestone in an exploration and diving career spanning decades. An avid scuba diver since 1969, Cameron has logged more than 3,000 hours underwater, including 500 hours in helmets. He has made 85 submersible dives, most of them to depths greater than two miles. Seeking to combine his two great passions—diving and filmmaking—Cameron has directed numerous feature films and marine documentaries that have broken new ground in underwater cinematography, beginning with The Abyss in 1989. In 1995, he made 12 manned-submersible dives to the Titanic wreck for his feature film of the same name, which won 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, and broke the record for global box office. Titanic’s earnings have only been surpassed by Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar, which garnered an unprecedented $2.8 billion worldwide.
DEEPSEA CHALLENGE was a joint scientific expedition by James Cameron, the National Geographic Society, and Rolex. Learn more at deepseachallenge.com.
ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM
Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, contains more than 10 million gallons of water and has the largest collection of aquatic animals. The mission of Georgia Aquarium is to be an entertaining, educational and scientific institution featuring exhibits and programs of the highest standards; offering engaging and exciting guest experiences promoting the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org.
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivaled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its OYSTER watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the OYSTER, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the PERPETUAL rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, exploration, sports, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic and patronage programs.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. WHOI operates the National Deep Submergence Facility, which operates deep sea exploration vehicles for the benefit of the entire U.S. oceanographic community and includes the human occupied vehicle Alvin, the remotely operated vehicle Jason and the autonomous vehicle Sentry. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, WHOI’s primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans' role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu.
ABOUT MUSE SCHOOL CA
Founded in 2006 by Suzy Amis Cameron and Rebecca Amis, MUSE SchoolCA’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to live consciously with themselves, one another, and the planet. Through individual and passion-based learning, MUSE students achieve academic excellence, learn self-efficacy, exercise sustainability, and become compassionate global champions. As one of the greenest campuses in the United States, MUSE supports spontaneous learning at every turn of its 22-acre space, enticing children to explore, create, discover and reflect. MUSE Green STEAM is based on an educational model that supports the integration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics through individual hands on project based learning opportunities that focus on green and environmentally responsible innovation. MUSE School CA is a 501(c)3 non-profit school located in Calabasas, CA governed by a Board of Directors that is responsible for strategic planning, policies, and the fiscal stability of the organization. For more information visit www.museschool.org.
The California Science Center in Exposition Park is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. Its mission is as follows: “We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people’s lives.” For more information go to www.californiasciencecenter.org.
ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Its mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. Founded in 1888, the Society is member supported and offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through National Geographic and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.