Richard Branson, business guru and entrepreneur has detailed that he has abandoned his balloon flight exploits to focus on exploring the deepest parts of the world’s oceans with a new jet styled submarine.
This 18 foot vessel can travel down 36,000 feet below the surface and is part of the project entitled ‘Virgin Oceanic’. It will take part in five dives over two years with the first being planned for later this year when the team will explore the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench at a depth near 36,000 feet.
Branson will be piloting a second dive himself, into the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean. He also plans to explore the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean, South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean and Diamantina in the Indian Ocean.
He told reporters recently “There is just so much to explore, so much to discover. We are going to obviously come across some fascinating creatures and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be useful for mankind.”
The project will ‘only’ cost around $10 million. The plans are that Virgin Oceanic could take passengers some day on deep sea dives, just as the Virgin Galactic Project may one day take passengers on suborbital spaceflights. If you happen to have $200,000 spare in your bank account.
KitGuru says: Branson made his fortune with Virgin’s chain of record stores in the 1970’s and the business has expanded into other territories such as music recording label’s and Virgin Atlantic Airlines. He now spends a lot of his fortune exploring the earth from the skies, and now the ocean.