/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Virgin Oceanic's deep-sea submersible (images)

Richard Branson's latest effort is to send a solo submersible to the deepest spot in all five of the Earth's oceans.

New_CNET_profile_picture.jpg
Daniel Terdiman
VO_sub_5.jpg
1 of 8 Virgin Oceanic

DeepFlight Challenger

Richard Branson, the owner of the vast Virgin empire, announced his newest effort today: Virgin Oceanic. The idea is to send a single pilot to the deepest points in each of the Earth's oceans in a deep-sea submersible known as the DeepFlight Challenger. Made by Hawkes Ocean Technologies, the craft originally belonged to uber-adventurer Steve Fossett, who died before he was able to complete the journey to the Mariana Trench, which at 36,201 feet below the surface, is the deepest spot on the planet.

Now, Branson and his partner Chris Welsh plan to spend the next two years on their so-called Five Dives initiative which, among other things, is hoped to spread the word about the urgent need for ocean research and exploration.

VirginOceanic-InfoArt-200dpi.png
2 of 8 Virgin Oceanic

The Five Dives

This chart showcases the goals of the Five Dives initiative.
VO_sub_profiles.jpg
3 of 8 Virgin Oceanic

Profiles

In this image, we see profiles of the Virgin Oceanic DeepFlight Challenger.
VO_sub_fore_aft.jpg
4 of 8 Virgin Oceanic

Front and back

Here we see the front and back of the DeepFlight Challenger.
VO_sub_top.jpg
5 of 8 Virgin Oceanic

The top

Here, we see the top of the vessel, which can travel at speeds of up to 3 knots, and which can dive 350 feet a minute.
Challenger_1_540x359.jpg
6 of 8 Hawkes Ocean Technologies

Fossett's Challenger

This photo of the DeepFlight Challenger dates to when Fossett was preparing to be the first to ever dive solo to the Mariana Trench.
VO_sub_1.jpg
7 of 8 Virgin Oceanic

Submersible diving

The DeepFlight Challenger is a state-of-the-art deep-sea submersible capable of going farther below the surface than any other craft on the planet.
VO_sub_3.jpg
8 of 8 Virgin Oceanic

Front side view

A look at the DeepFlight Challenger from the front and the side.

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
The new Genesis G90 looks incredible

More Galleries

The new Genesis G90 looks incredible

6 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

67 Photos
2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

More Galleries

2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

65 Photos
Porsche's Paint to Sample produces some amazing colors

More Galleries

Porsche's Paint to Sample produces some amazing colors

15 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos