Richard Branson’s plan to explore the world’s deepest oceans is scrapped

Sir Richard Branson’s lofty ambitions to explore the limits of earth — in both directions — have been put on ice. After Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed during testing earlier this year, company representatives have confirmed that Virgin Oceanic’s goal of diving to the deepest part of the ocean has been put on indefinite hold.

Virgin Oceanic set out a grand goal when it was first announced in 2011. The project aimed to use an 18-foot deep-sea submarine to “fly” along the floor of the world’s deepest oceans. The plan was to carry out five dives — one each to the deepest points of all five of our planet’s oceans — in the space of two years. Branson himself intended to pilot the sub’s second mission, to the Puerto Rico trench in the…

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