Richard Branson who is known for the Virgin Galactic space travel program, has decided to launch another project: Vigin Oceanic. The goal of this project is to go where no man has gone before, the bottom of the ocean. To be more precise, they plan to dive to the 5 lowest points in the oceans, including the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which is 36,201 feet below sea level, and the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench, which at 28,232 feet below the sea. Note, that this is nearly four times deeper than military submarines travel.
To achieve it, Graham Hawkes (from Hawkes Ocean Technologies) has designed a special submarine that can dive into the deep oceans, where the pressure is over 1,000 atmospheres (approximately the equivalent of 8000 elephants standing on top of it) and the extreme cold (just slightly above freezing).
There are scientific purposes to the Virgin Oceanic’s missions for the research of bottom-dwelling microbes, bioluminescence and seafloor geology.
More details can be found at http://www.virginoceanic.com