JAMES CAMERON BEAT THE VIRGIN OCEANIC TEAM TO BOTTOM OF MARIANA TRENCH
The project's website has been offline since at least this summer, and there has been no word on the mission for well over a year. A spokesperson confirmed to The Telegraphthat the "project has been put on ice while we look at other technology that works," noting the safety concerns of the DeepFlight sub. He added, however, that "[Virgin Oceanic] remains our name, so no doubt we will revive it."
This past August, Branson published a letter online that seemingly cemented the end of the Virgin Oceanic program. He wrote, "Starting new ventures takes a 'screw it let's do it' attitude," but "business is also about knowing when to change tack." He then explains how Virgin Oceanic has shifted its goals to "democratize access at reduced cost and increased safety." It's not clear what the future of Branson's deep-ocean dreams are, but the ideas is certainly still in the back of his mind. As he writes: "We are all still highly passionate about exploring the bottom of the ocean."