Triton 36000/3 sub
Only three people have been to the floor of the ocean's deepest canyon, some seven miles beneath the surface. Two of them made the long drop in 1960 in a U.S. Navy pod affixed to the aquatic version of a hot-air balloon. More than a half-century passed before a third man returned to this abyss southwest of Guam, known as the Mariana Trench. That would be movie mogul James Cameron, who made the deep dive last year in an advanced submersible he helped design and had built especially for the momentous occasion.
But soon others could be taking this rarified plunge, in the newest vessel designed by Florida-based Triton Submarines.
"It's a revolutionary submersible," says L. Bruce Jones, Triton's CEO, who plans to charter his subs. "I've gotten some financing together and we're going to build it and we're going to operate it."
For the price of about $250,000 dollars per seat, tourists could board the Triton 36000/3 and descend into the abyss o their choosing. Like other subs in the Triton line, the new model is named for its maximum depth rating (36,000 feet) and passenger capacity (three).
Most Triton subs, with hulls of a thick, clear acrylic that look like snow globes, are produced for a niche market – it helps to have a sizable yacht from which to launch a sub, like the company's most popular model, the Triton 3300/3, used last year to capture the first-ever footage of a giant squid in the wild.
In designing the 36000/3, Triton had to be mindful of the daunting 16,000 pounds per square inch of pressure at the bottom of the sea. "That's what's made this revolutionary," Jones says. "It brought with it a series of problems that were not trivial, that we've successfully solved."
Failure is obviously not an option.