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Richard Branson Joins the Race to Conquer Undersea Tourism

Travel and Hotel News

September 7, 2011

Chief pilot Chris Welsh and Sir Richard Branson on top of the Virgin Oceanic submarine

Having successfully completed initial test flights of his Virgin Galactic spacecraft, Sir Richard Branson is now determined to conquer new territory: the sea. Created to take passengers on commercial deep sea dives, Branson's Virgin Oceanic is already underway, with an eighteen-foot, titanium-and-carbon fiber vessel built to descend more than 36,000 feet below the surface. This vessel will undertake five dives over the next two years, with Branson himself joining in the second dive in the Puerto Rico Trench. Branson is not the only innovator hoping to explore underwater byways. Director James Cameron has raised $8 million in investment funds for sea exploration, and Google's Eric E. Schmidt has a team working on minisubmarines estimated to sell at $40 million a pop. The race is on — let the best multimillionaire win!

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