Sir Richard Branson Looks to Expand Under the Sea

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on April 21, 2011 at 8:00 am

And you thought Google was trying to conquer the earth. Looks like they’ve got stiff competition with Sir Richard Branson. Clearly not contented with ruling the sky (and space), Virgin is taking to the sea for their latest adventures, according to Exec Digital. With what’s been dubbed as Virgin Oceanic, the charismatic Branson is expanding his domain to the deepest of the ocean’s floors. He will be piloting a Super Falcon flying submarine — designed by Graham Hawkes — along with Chris Welsh in an effort to explore some of the most mysterious parts of the planet.

Image: Gulltagen/Flickr

The two will take turns piloting the one-person sub. Chris Welsh will be taking on the first mission later this year, a dive down to the deepest point on earth, the Mariana Trench, seven miles straight down. Once down there, he will “fly” the sub along the bottom an additional six miles. It will be the first time human eyes have set sight on the bottom of the trench since 1960 when the Trieste brought co-pilots Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard down there.

For the second mission, Branson will head do the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean at over five miles. As stated on the mission page, “less than 3% of the seafloor has been explored, and none of the deepest points of the planet have ever been explored beyond a brief visit to one.  The opportunities to see and learn from these dives are monumental.”

Check out the teaser trailer for the Virgin Oceanic sub:

[youtube width=”575″ height=”344″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sk_XEHfqwk&feature=player_embedded#at=11[/youtube]

Tags: chris welsh, sir richard branson, virgin, virgin oceanic

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