"The seven years we spent designing and building the Deepsea Challenger were dedicated to expanding the options available to deep-ocean researchers," said Cameron in a joint statement with WHOI. "Our sub is a scientific proof-of-concept, and our partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a way to provide the technology we developed to the oceanographic community.
"WHOI is a world leader in deep submergence, both manned and unmanned. I've been informally associated with WHOI for more than 20 years, and I welcome this opportunity to formalize the relationship with the transfer of the Deepsea Challenger submersible system and science platform," he continued. "WHOI is a place where the Deepsea Challenger system will be a living, breathing and dynamic program going forward."
Deepsea Challenger, which was built in Sydney, Australia, by Acheron Project Pty., Ltd., is the first single-person sub to allow for human exploration of the full depth of the ocean. Cameron last year was the first person to dive to the bottom of the Marianas Trench solo, reaching 35,787 feet, and the first to return to what is considered the deepest point in the ocean since U.S. Navy submariner Don Walsh, and the late Jacques Piccard, a Swiss engineer, dove the abyss in their bathyscaphe the Trieste in 1960.