Real estate and technology entrepreneur Larry Connor has successfully
completed three dives in just five days to the deepest ocean depths in the Mariana Trench, less than 10 months before he’s scheduled to pilot the first private mission to the International Space Station. He is on pace to make history as the first person to accomplish both feats within 12 months.
Connor, managing partner of The Connor Group, dove with Patrick Lahey, president and co-founder of Triton Submarines, in a Triton 36000/2, named the DSV Limiting Factor. The pair gathered high-quality video footage and samples in the hadal zone, the area of the ocean below 20,000 ft.–the final frontier of exploration on Earth.
Footage includes never-before-seen areas of the ocean floor; the Mariana snailfish (Pseudoliparis swirei), the only species of fish known to survive at a depth of 26,240 ft., or nearly the height of Mt. Everest; and many sulfur mounds. They also recovered scientific samples of bacterial mats and deep-sea anemones.