Challenger Deep, the deepest point in the ocean, has been out of reach for all but the hardiest of explorers. More people have walked on the moon (12) than visited the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which lies at a depth of 35,853 feet.
Victor Vescovo completed the most recent expedition to Challenger Deep in May 2019 as part of the record-breaking Five Deeps Expedition. Now, the same team will return to the depths of the Pacific Ocean and are inviting three members of the public along for the ride.
Lead by EYOS Expeditions and Caladan Oceanic, the ultra-exclusive experience costs $750,000 per person and represents the first opportunity for everyday people to visit one of the most exclusive locations on the planet. The three chosen members will be able to count themselves among the first 15 people to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Rob McCallum, founding partner of EYOS Expeditions said: “This is the most exclusive destination on Earth. Currently, only three manned expeditions have ever been made to the bottom of Challenger Deep and more people have been to the moon than to the bottom of the ocean. Four thousand people have been to Everest and 562 to space; only seven have made it to Challenger Deep.
“This will be a rare and special opportunity to participate in and help fund genuine exploration in the modern age. These three Mission Specialists joining the expedition will be at the forefront of our continued scientific research into the ocean’s virtually unknown hadal zone, and demonstrate the power of private travel to advance our understanding of the planet.”
Although no formal training is required beforehand, the three chosen passengers will have to spend up to 14 hours in the groundbreaking Limiting Factor submersible, which has already dived to the location five times. Located over seven miles below the surface, the descent takes four hours. The divers spend four hours on the seafloor, where they will be one of the first to lay eyes on this alien landscape before the four-hour return to the surface.
The Limiting Factor is the only vehicle ever constructed that is capable of multiple dives to full ocean depth. The occupants of the submersible are completely protected by the 90mm thick titanium sphere and experience no pressure changes or physiological stresses at all.