By Marcus Leach
Entrepreneur Richard Branson is attempting to take a specialised mini-submarine to the deepest point of each of the world's five oceans.
The feat has never been achieved before, and if successful Branson expects to break over thirty world records.
"With space long ago reached by man, and commercial spaceflight tantalisingly close, the last great challenge for humans is to reach and explore the depths of our planet’s oceans," Branson said.
"The submarine will travel to the deepest trenches in our oceans and will allow its pilot not only to reach these depths but to explore for 10 kilometres on each of the dives."
The attempt will take place over a two year period and will utilise the only submarine capable of taking a human safely to such depths. The Virgin Oceanic submarine is owned and operated by Chris Welsh and his company Deep Sub LLC.
Branson will be joined on his unique expedition by BBC film-makers.
"This project will unlock the world’s greatest wilderness allowing us to film underwater in a way that has previously been impossible," says Neil Nightingale, creative director for BBC Earth.
"94 percent of all known life is aquatic, and this expedition will uncover never-seen behavior and footage. Quite simply, we don’t yet know exactly what we will find, but it’s potentially the most exciting project a wildlife filmmaker could work on."