A year ago this week, James Cameron was seven miles beneath the ocean’s surface for the Deepsea Challenge. The unique research and exploration project took him to the bottom of the Challenger Deep — the lowest point of the Mariana Trench — and spurred the upcoming feature documentary special, Deepsea Challenge 3D. After emerging from the successful voyage, he flew to London for the premiere of Titanic 3D, looking none the worse for wear. Today, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution says it has formed a partnership with Cameron to advance the ocean sciences by building on the expedition. The filmmaker will donate the Deepsea Challenger submersible system and science platform that he helped engineer to Woods Hole, whose experts will work with Cameron and his team to incorporate the sub’s engineering advancements into future research platforms and expeditions. In a statement, Cameron said Woods Hole “is a place where the Deepsea Challenger system will be a living, breathing and dynamic program going forward.” He’s not done diving in the sub, though, telling The New York Times he’s eager to get to the Sirena Deep in the western Pacific that’s more than six miles down. Cameron has logged more than 3,000 hours underwater, many in aid of the advancement of underwater cinematography and robotics, starting with 1989′s The Abyss. In 1995, he made 12 submersible dives to the Titanic wreck.

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