Richard Branson Takes on Deep-Ocean Submarine Dives

by Libby Zay 
Posted Apr 5th 2011 12:00 PMUpdated Apr 6th 2011 10:42 AM

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Virgin Oceanic

Billionaire Richard Branson announced today he plans to travel to the deepest parts of the world's five oceans in a single-person submarine, the Virgin Oceanic.

The announcement that Branson and fellow explorer Chris Welch plan to make the series of deep-sea dives over the next two years came today at a press conference at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club on Tony Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.

The pair will take turns piloting the submarine to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, the Atlantic's Puerto Rico Trench and South Sandwich Trench, Diamantina Trench in the Indian Ocean and the Molly Deep in the Arctic Ocean.

Along the way, the two explorers plan to set nearly 30 Guinness World Records. Virgin Oceanic will partner with leading scientific institutions to collect data and will use mapping technology from Google.

The adventurer showed off the blue-and-white plane-like submarine that he says will be able to travel for miles over the ocean floor.

Branson also has plans to make a larger submarine that can hold more people and offer trips to tourists – all for a sizeable fee.

A news release sent out yesterday hinted at the Billionaire's newest venture, saying there is only one frontier left for Branson, whose projects have reached "the seven continents of the earth, up into the jet stream and soon, even into space."

A little over a year ago, the British business mogul debuted the Necker Nymph, a three-person submarine capable of diving nearly 100 feet deep. Tourists at Branson's private resort in the Caribbean could rent for $2,500 per day.

Branson has also constructed a $209 million spaceport in New Mexico as part of his space tourism venture. It is expected the first suborbital flights will begin between mid-summer 2011 and spring 2012.


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Phil, Ohio

That toy mini-sub will be crushed like a paper airplane long before he reaches the bottom of the Marianas trench!

April 06 2011 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lawrence fishberg

All the money in the world and all the time to spend it....his next step is to build a row of condos on Mars.

April 06 2011 at 6:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john

he could (and should ) do better things with his money. buffet springs to mind......

April 06 2011 at 2:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
samjh

He realizes what's about to happen this year and early 2012, and is desperately trying find a way to avert it through space or sea. Unfortunately he is looking in the wrong places. He still has time to figure it out though.

April 06 2011 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sammi Law

For some reason, I admire the guy. I don't know if or when he unethically accumulated some of his wealth, but I have noticed that he seems more overtly Globally Conscious that many of his peers.

It is rare that an explorer or anyone stretching any envelope doesn't make a contribution to civilization. Just the fact that he is advancing certain genre of technology will most likely lead to a positive shift on levels that are more common.

April 06 2011 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rocky

He can afford it but he is not helping me any at all or anyone else.

April 05 2011 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Rocky's comment
Jami

I have a phobia about being underwater! Http://www.budgetravelsite.info I prefer to be ON the beach or on a float on the water - that's more like it!

April 05 2011 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yongan5

Along the way, the two explorers plan to set nearly 30 Guinness World Records. Virgin Oceanic will partner with leading scientific institutions to collect data and will use mapping technology from Google.I am an Air Force and single at present .I need a woman who can love me back ..I also uploaded my hot photos on Uniformedmate .C oM under the name of hoho212..It's the largest and best club for seeking Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Police Force, and the admirers of those who wear the uniform.I just hope you don't mind me being a soldier ...Please Check it out!I'm serious.

April 05 2011 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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