20,000 Leagues and Beyond: Branson's New Submarine

Is there a travel sector left untapped by Richard Branson? After the recent announcement of his new "flying" mini-submarine, we say no. According to Luxuo, Richard Branson's Virgin Oceanic craft will voyage down to the deepest points in each of the world's oceans, starting in the Pacific this year.

"If plans go well and pressure testing of the mini-sub succeeds, the first will be taken by chief pilot [Chris] Welsh into the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, which goes down to 36,201 feet, later in 2011," according to Luxuo.

The list of dangers is quite long. Not only does the vessel have to withstand pressures up to 1,000 times normal pressure, but a leak of any size would bring passengers to a  quick demise.

But Branson remains optimistic. "At Virgin we believe that there are thousands of people who like to explore the oceans," he told Luxuo.

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