From Highest Peaks to Ocean Deeps, Dallas Businessman Victor Vescovo Is Making History

Roughly 4 miles under the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, Victor Vescovo descended in an air-tight titanium ball inside a state-of-the-art submersible and trained its bright lights on the moonlike floor below him.The 53-year-old Dallas businessman and lifelong adventurer was likely the first person to lay eyes on the expanse before him.Natural light doesn't reach where Vescovo finally touched bottom -- 27,480 feet below the surface in the Puerto Rican Trench. Extending the submersible's mechanical arm, he set about collecting items from the seafloor for scientists eager to know more about this unexplored part of the planet.Capturing every moment were cameras for the Discovery Channel, which is following his underwater exploits for a special to air later this year. On the surface, aboard a 200-foot-long research ship named the DSSV Pressure Drop, Capt. Stuart Buckle heard a startling pronouncement through the submersible's communication system."We lost the arm," Vescovo said calmly. Gone was the $350,000 apparatus, which unexpectedly wiggled out of its connecting hinge and tumbled to Abyssal Depths -- the part of the ocean that derives its name from the Greek term for "bottomless."  Continue reading...

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