Expedition Reaches the Deepest Point on Earth, Challenger Deep
Submersible descends to the bottom of Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the Earth's ocean, located within the Mariana Trench. The maximum depth recorded was 10,919 meters +/- 6 meters.
The dive was piloted by Victor Vescovo, undersea explorer and founder of the ocean research company Caladan Oceanic, with Dr. Dawn Wright (Chief Scientist at Esri) as mission sonar specialist. The expedition was again led and coordinated by expedition leader Rob McCallum, founder of EYOS Expeditions.
Wright supported the dive with her expertise in marine geology and the company's geospatial technology and became one of the few individuals – and the first Black person – to visit Challenger Deep.
Wright will release a series of maps and data from the dive on Esri's ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, the foremost collection of geographic information – including maps, applications, and data layers – from around the world. One goal of making this data available is to add to the understanding of the shape and structure of this deepest part of the planet, as well as how human activity can affect such places.
Vescovo, who piloted the submersible, has made dives to the deepest points in all five of the world's oceans, all four of the world’s 10,000-meter trenches, and made 14 prior visits to Challenger Deep. To do so, he commissioned Triton Submarines LLC to design and build the Limiting Factor, (Triton 36000/2) the only vehicle that is commercially certified for unlimited depth and capable of repeatedly visiting any ocean, at any depth, at any time of year.
Vescovo has now piloted the submersible to the five absolute deepest points in the ocean: the Challenger, Horizon, Scholl, Emden, and Sirena Deeps in the Mariana, Tonga, Kermadec, Philippine, and Mariana Trenches, respectively, and in June 2022 discovered the USS Samuel B. Roberts - the world’s deepest shipwreck.