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Richard Branson Announces Virgin Oceanic Submarine

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the 6-miles-down dept.

Transportation 122

It's the tripnaut! writes "Richard Branson has just revealed that he intends to build a vessel capable of exploring some of the deepest parts of the oceans around the world. The article further states: 'The sub, which was designed by Graham Hawkes, weighs 8,000 lbs and is made of carbon fiber and titanium. It has an operating depth of 37,000 ft and can operate for 24 hours unaided.'"

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Oh, Sir. Branson (2)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741430)

Sir. Branson, is there anything in science fiction you won't waste your billions trying to make into a commercial reality?

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (2)

inKubus (199753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741456)

Sir Branson: *waving excitedly* "Next stop, the CENTER of the EARTH!"

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741884)

Millionaire killing devices from the mind of Branson.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743362)

I was hoping this was some kind of new luxury underwater trans Atlantic service

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

CProgrammer98 (240351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744512)

ditto. I was going to ask if it was Yellow...

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

sleigher (961421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744920)

I was too. Maybe he will figure out a way to make it go 500 mph and offer it as a service. Is it possible to go 500 mph underwater?

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35746074)

Yes, and faster, through supercavitation [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741470)

Quite frankly, you may think what you want of Branson's endeavours, but at least he's trying to achieve new and exciting things. He'd make more money setting up a law firm, a hedge fund, or selling razors with 6 blades, but he pegs himself as a visionary and that's what visionaries do.

I say the world is better off with a Branson that Yet Another Businessperson [TM]...

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741536)

I agree, what he does is to keep a high profile with stunts like these, but it really improves the brand when he is involved in things that is more than just the usual TV commercial. Anyone can do a CGI with a fantasy these days using a pile of money, but putting that money into an event where you are actually achieving something real - or make a difference - then you do both your brand and the others involved a favor.

The submarine will hopefully provide additional knowledge.

"There are no failures, just more data".

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741582)

I say the world is better off with a Branson than Yet Another Businessperson [TM]...

Hear, Hear!

Fixed it for you, but only because I'm nodding in agreement

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741652)

There are a couple of good talks about ocean exploration on TED, for instance http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/robert_ballard_on_exploring_the_oceans.html [ted.com]

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (5, Insightful)

Kozz (7764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743358)

Dear SLASHDOT:
What the FUCK have you done to the layout, styles and scripting on this god-forsaken site? I've tried both FF4 and IE8, but have the same problems:
  • * hyperlinks in comments don't work, as if they've got an {onclick="return false} in them.
  • * comments frequently do NOT show their moderation scores, and I have to keep opening ancestor comments until the scores are revealed.
  • * The right-click context menu doesn't come up in FF4 unless I DOUBLE-RIGHTCLICK.
  • * Sometimes when clicking on a comment (to expand from abbreviated mode), parent comments will be opened, and my window content scrolls, causing me to lose the original comment I was trying to read.
  • * These <li> elements aren't displaying their bullet-points when previewing comments (and probably not after posting, either), so I've gotta stuff asterisks in front of each of them.

To be honest, I'm not one of those who has been carping about the new layout and design of Slashdot. I'm actually fine with that. But it's got to fucking work. Otherwise I'm ... oh fuck it. I'll probably come back anyhow. But you should know what a shitty job you've done of QA.

Moderators: us low-UID folks get a pass to rant once a year or so, don't we? Yeah, it's a bit vitriolic, but it's all truth.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743558)

Invisible +1 to your comment

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (2)

Apocros (6119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743574)

Spot on for at least the first four points... seems like the break happened fairly recently too (this week?).

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

linuxwolf69 (1996104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744184)

Yeh, and here I just thought it was my computer refusing to click xkcd links yesterday... Glad to know it's not just me... :D

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743670)

Unable to spend my moderation points due to the witchcraft present in the current layout, but please accept my respect instead.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744328)

"* The right-click context menu doesn't come up in FF4 unless I DOUBLE-RIGHTCLICK. "
This one annoys the HELL out of me. Took ages to discover it and, after many restarts, realise it's not my OS/Browser. Grrr

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744516)

To add to this, list:

* I'm not sure if this is an existing bug but there's an inconsistency between the show/hide comment slider and the actual posts shown. I have the sliders set to -1 and it clearly says that ALL comments "FULL". However, I often find that I have to scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Get $X more comments" to actually show all the comments. Annoying.

* for some reason, I can't click the "Post Anonymously" button anymore. I just found this when I modded your comment up and wanted to add to the list.

* when I go to my account page, some of the menus are overlaying each other. It's just a mess.

I'm fine with the redesigned layout but for god's sake, I would expect this of amateurs. I wish the code could be edited wiki-style so that I could just go in and fix it instead of complaining.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744726)

Mark Slashdot.org as "Untrusted" in NoScript. Set your discussion style to "classic" in your user preferences. That will fix everything but the bullet point issue.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745140)

Ah ha, that got it, thanks

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744850)

I agree esp. about ol/ul.

Mod parent up! (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745480)

+5 please.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35746716)

A better lament against the pile of poo that web design has become, I cannot find. Bravo, sir.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

psyclone (187154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35747132)

All of those items affect FF 3.6 as well, except regular right-click still works.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742256)

Damn straight. He would have made a lot more money if he'd stuck to monetising the Virgin brand (rather than licensing it out), and stopped using his funds to prop up his aeroplane business. But that's not his style, and mad props go out to him to refusing to compromise his ideals for the sake of a few more billion that he doesn't need.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742474)

He couldn't even make the toilets work properly when he was running a train service in the UK. Fortunately, he has been kicked off.

Perhaps the problem arose because the people he associates with are so superior that they have no need for mere bodily functions.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742496)

Yeah, he is Clive SInclair with more money and a niftier beard.

Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743074)

We need a Branson now especially in an age where scientific exploration (ie NASA) may be neutered due to budgetary constraints. I hope he succeeds.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35747134)

Agreed. The guy just crushes the game of life.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

kernelphr34k (1179539) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741486)

I sure hope he finds that giant octopus he speaks of.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

Rik Rohl (1399705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741524)

I hope not.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741944)

Producing some good Sci-Fi?

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741986)

I sure hope not! This guy reminds me of the (Sci-Fi) Tom Swift books I read as a kid. I'd love to be adopted by him. (and I'm almost 40)

Great (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744582)

what he is doing is allowing science fiction to become real. I say GREAT! Seriously, Gates and his buddies saying that they want to spread their wealth could do far far more humanity if they would focus on building large things that are typically done by gov. For example:
  • 1) go in with several other billionares and develop multiple electric car companies, in which the frame, drive train, etc. are all the same, but the body is different. Once multiple car companies are established, THEN give each a copy of the core IP and they go about and compete.
  • 2) How about building a high-speed monorail train? Maglev is overkill. It is not rolling resistance, but air resistance that is the issue. However, the linear motor is useful. So, do monorail with seraphim motors.
  • 3) How about spending some money on SpaceX, DreamChaser, etc? Or Bigelow Aerospace and ILC Dover?

It is people like Branson, Elon Musk, and Paul Allen that are making REAL differences to the future.
Musk gets credit for starting up CHEAP solar installation, Cheap spaceX, and of course, getting the electric car industry going.
Allen gets the credit for getting cable industry into the net, and getting private space going by funding Scaled Composites X-Prize winner.

Allen contrasts against Gates in that Gates pushed Boeing/L-Mart into building EELVs in expensive fashion promising them that he was going to use them for his satellites. Well, we all know the status of that.

Re:Oh, Sir. Branson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745620)

Unlike his megalomaniacally-named Virgin "Galactic", there is actual real technology and precedent for diving to 37000 feet. It's been done in the 1960s.

Just Wow! (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741468)

It's really my life-long ambition to do two things: (i) Fly to the exosphere, or at least ionosphere, and (ii) Go to the greatest depths of the sea and explore lifeforms there. If this becomes a relatively cheap reality in the next 30 years, I will definitely complete at least this one item in my bucket list. :) :)

Re:Just Wow! (1)

subk (551165) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741548)

If this becomes a relatively cheap reality in the next 30 years

How rich are you? This sub weighs about 8,000lb, so it might just have room for -A- passenger. A reeaeeaaally rich passenger.

Re:Just Wow! (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744132)

If this becomes a relatively cheap reality in the next 30 years

How rich are you? This sub weighs about 8,000lb, so it might just have room for -A- passenger. A reeaeeaaally rich passenger.

That's the great thing about technology: prices go down. For all we know, this could be the next big thing in 30 years time.

Re:Just Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741614)

Burial at Sea should realise at least one of these, at a very reasonable cost. :-)

Re:Just Wow! (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741630)

    Well, you can do it. Do you have the budget for it though? :)

    Fly a specially built aircraft up to 60,000 feet. Fire first stage rockets on straight and level heading to accelerate to Mach 3. Drop first stage rockets and switch to ramjet engines. Accelerate to Mach 5, and climb to 80,000 feet. Drop surplus fuel tanks. Engage rockets, and change your vector to "up". You want 0 ground speed, and max climb. If you do "up" right, you have a safe vector back down. To return, maintain an approx 10 degree nose down attitude, relative to ground, with 0 ground speed. As the air density increases, your descent will slow, and when you gain aerodynamic effect again, you can fly home.

    These are just "back of the napkin" numbers. Don't bother to work those specific numbers too much.

    Oh, and if you do just happen to build one yourself, even if it wouldn't really work, you'll probably have the attention of plenty of agencies you've never heard of who will either liberate you of your design specs and hardware, or liberate you of your freedom. Calling NASA and saying "Hey, I need a used but serviceable space suit. Because I built a spaceship, and am planning a launch for next Thursday." will either get you laughed at, or picked up faster, either by an agency, or the funny farm. :)

 

Re:Just Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741900)

I don't know, there's not one but two space suits sitting at the park (exhibition outside) for some months now, could just get these... :-)

Re:Just Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742360)

They didn't laugh, but ask for a delivery address and reminded me, to send in pictures.

Re:Just Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741942)

You have only two ambitions in life, and you don't even know enough about one of them to know what the challenger deep is?

37,000 feet deep? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741484)

    Really? 37,000 feet deep?

    I did a quick look with an online calculator, and that would be 16,055 psi.

    According to This story [extremescience.com] , the deepest spot in the ocean is about 36,000 feet deep. But hey, if you're going to take a ride down to the bottom of the Marianas trench, I'd prefer to know that the sub is rated for more than it could possibly do. Maybe he's doing some advanced planning for global warming, so people can visit the ancient underwater city previously known as "New York". :) (ya, ya, I know, not enough water on the planet, ice or otherwise, blah, blah, blah.)

    I do wonder about decompression. 24 hours may seem like a long time, but ascending from that kind of depth is bound to cause some pretty serious problems. I'd bet 16k psi is bound to squish the hull at least a bit.

Re:37,000 feet deep? (4, Informative)

vivian (156520) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741530)

Being a pressure hull, it will be at 1 atmosphere internally - there is no decompression for the occupants to worry about, which is the whole point of having a pressure hull.

Last I checked, 37000 is > 35838 feet, which is the actual deepest point in the ocean, so the sub is already overrated for even the deepest depth - let alone the rest of the ocean which is much much shallower - with an average depth of about 13000 ft.

The wreck of the titanic is at only 12600ft. I'd definitely pay a decent sum to go see that thing in a sub if the sub had a decent view-port you could look out of.

Re:37,000 feet deep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741628)

Being a former submariner I can tell you that the pressure does increase as you dive. I always knew when we were diving deep when I was sleeping because i would wake up with the need to piss

Re:37,000 feet deep? (3, Funny)

hat_eater (1376623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742288)

OMFG someone has been plunging my house into the abyss while I slept! Every night through my ENTIRE LIFE!!1!

Re:37,000 feet deep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742728)

Speaking of all this, wouldn't it probably be easier to make waterproof systems, then flood the whole insides of the vehicle with water?
Obviously the people will be wearing suits.
This way, pressure inside could be increased significantly without (much?) damage to the people inside.
You could increase the water pressure to values that humans are known to be safe in.

Food could be eaten through straw from packets that can be inserted in to a helmet.
Essentially a space-suit designed for long-term expeditions. (which can be plugged in to sub if needed, for say, sleeping)

Until we get breathable liquids like in that film with the aliens, it is the closest we'd get to it.

Re:37,000 feet deep? (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741566)

To add to that, the portholes would not be as intresting as they would have to be rediculously thick so you'd see most things through a video camera and a screen.

Be cool to drive it and chase aroud whatever does live in those depths

Re:37,000 feet deep? (2)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741598)

To add to that, the portholes would not be as intresting as they would have to be rediculously thick so you'd see most things through a video camera and a screen.

Too bad then that it has such a large viewing dome: http://www.virginoceanic.com/vehicles/submersible/ [virginoceanic.com]

Re:37,000 feet deep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741690)

It's highly likely that viewing dome ceases to maintain a 1ATM environment below a certain depth at which point the pilot moves to the titanium pressure sphere locking himself in to a hamster-ball with a conical quartz peephole.

By keeping the Hamster-ball full of a liquid(?diesel?) when not occupied, and by making the viewing dome area's volume less than, or equal to the volume of the titanium hamster-ball, this ballast can be used to brace the viewing dome while the hamster-ball is occupied. This would only impact the trim(distribution of weight) without changing the total buoyancy.

Lead acid battery racks on a sliding track could then be used as a counter balance to compensate. The carbon fiber is for no other reason than bling, ease of transportation, and perhaps fuel economy.

Re:37,000 feet deep? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741954)

I think the idea is the dome will be made of quartz (their page implies as much) to withstand the pressure. It doesn't look to me like there's room for a "titanium pressure sphere" as you suggest.

Re:37,000 feet deep? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744428)

Wow, that doesn't look anything like deep sea vessels [carleton.edu] I have seen. It's... sporty.

Re:37,000 feet deep? (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741672)

  Even video cameras need to be protected from the water. :) That thick glass (or glass like substance) would be the same, regardless if it were for your eyeballs, or for a camera. At least with a video camera, it could be recorded. "I saw a giant squid monster" means nothing if you say it. If you provide authenticated video, then it's fact (although likely to be debunked by "experts" all over the Internet).

    I still have a thing against getting squished by thousands of pounds of pressure. I'd rather watch the screen from somewhere comfortable naturally around 1 atm. :)

Re:37,000 feet deep? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743186)

Of course, if you solve the problems of getting eyeballs safely down to that depth then you've automatically solved the problem of getting a camera down there (the reverse is not necessarily true).

How this decision went down (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741570)

"Mr. Branson! James Cameron isn't doing that submarine trip to the Mariana Trench after all [flickdirect.com] , since earthquake aftershocks make it too dangerous!"

"Perfect! I'll have my own submarine built and go there myself. That smurf-lover has been in the spotlight too long, it's time to remind the world who the real crazy rich guy is! Earthquakes don't scare me."

Branson is a Liar and a Fraud (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741600)

Branson's always been a follower riding on the back of other people. He wouldn't touch this unless a real innovator like James Cameron had made the leap first or someone else hadn't done all the hard work. Can't stand the cunt. Oh, and if he's trying to sell a business off you can bet your life it's worth at least a third what he's asking for and past its peak. Branson is so iffy a parliamentary select committee found him unfit to run a bank.

Re:Branson is a Liar and a Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741852)

We'll take Branson on this side of the pond if you Brits will take Donald Trump in exchange.

Re:Branson is a Liar and a Fraud (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742394)

Two words. First word starts with HUGE F. ;)

Re:Branson is a Liar and a Fraud (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744484)

"For Sure!"?

Re:Branson is a Liar and a Fraud (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745050)

:) and another :)
erm... .. close.

Re:Branson is a Liar and a Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35746014)

Funny how this has been marked down. Virgin's outsourced web cleaning operation woke up?

Check the facts.

Trieste / Mariana Trench / January 1960 (1)

KC1P (907742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741606)

Why are we pretending this hasn't already been done? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathyscaphe_Trieste [wikipedia.org]

Re:Trieste / Mariana Trench / January 1960 (2)

oenone.ablaze (1133385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741782)

Yeah, to clarify for everyone: this is notable because it's the first mobile submersible that can operate at those depths—the Trieste brought two passengers to the Challenger Deep, but it was only capable of descent and ascent, not powered lateral movement.

Re:Trieste / Mariana Trench / January 1960 (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741924)

It was also, according to that linked Wikipedia article (which is strangely unclickable on FF4) only down there for twenty minutes. Not a very exciting experiment.

FF4 unclickable workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742498)

With my FF4, it's also unclickable. Double-click with the right button brings up the context menu, however. From there, one can open the link in another tab.

Re:FF4 unclickable workaround (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743220)

Same here - I also noticed that the "post anonymously" checkbox doesn't seem to work. I assume this is linked to my install of FF4 yesterday, I'm sure it was fine previously.

Link works fine with FF4 here... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743330)

As does the AC checkbox....

Re:FF4 unclickable workaround (1)

psyclone (187154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35747104)

Also affects FF 3.6

Re:Trieste / Mariana Trench / January 1960 (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743408)

Not a very exciting experiment.

I'm probably going out on a limb by saying, the hell it wasn't! No sense of adventure you have, my dear.

Dome (2)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741616)

It's my impression that Branson has taken over the sponsorship/ funding and involvement for a project called Deep Flight Challenger started by Steve Fossett (Rest In Pieces) I'm still trying to work out if the sub will actually have a large see through dome, or whether that will be replaced by some other material and rely on cameras for external visibility. If it is going to have a large see through area, what the hell is it made of?

Re:Dome (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741962)

The website for the submarine says the dome will be made of quartz.

Re:Dome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741998)

If it is going to have a large see through area, what the hell is it made of?

Transparent aluminium

Re:Dome (1)

Hitokiri Battousai (702935) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742848)

i.e. aluminium oxide, a.k.a. sapphire/ruby, fyi.

...units of measure (1)

mriya3 (803189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741646)

37 000 feet = 11 277.6 meters
8000 pounds = 3 628.73896 kilograms
24 hours = 8.64 × 10^12 shakes

Re:...units of measure (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741832)

20,000 leagues = 111,120 kilometers

Re:...units of measure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742010)

111,120km = about 2 trips around the world, underwater (presumably the Nautilus didn't go up on land and follow the equator).

Immaculate, too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741694)

Richard Branson Announces Virgin Oceanic Submarine

Does this mean the sub will no longer be virgin after it's christened?

Dumbing down? (2)

jandersen (462034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741858)

Well done, mr Branson! One of the few who dare, nowadays.

But, what is it that always tends to make American articles appear so downright stupid? Why are numbers and sizes always dumbed down to something you hope the average Joe Sixpack might get his head around? Like "8000 pounds" rather than "4t"? Or "37,000 ft"? Or, in other articles, numbers like "100,000 million billion" - is it just to make it sound impressive? If so, it doesn't work, it just sounds like toddler-talk. I would expect people who are able to understand subjects involving big numbers, are also able to understand the meaning of prefixes like "k", "M" and "G", and even (shudder) metric units.

And, of course, I can understand feet and pounds; it's just that every time it feels like yet another example of America wanting to show everybody that they are too bloody high and mighty to follow the lead of others. No, I don't hate America, and I do know that Americans are good and decent people; but then, why not show off all those good sides you guys have?

Re:Dumbing down? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742128)

"Well done, mr Branson! One of the few who dare, nowadays."

Oh I think there's plenty who dare.

Just not many who have enough money and dare. He's unique in that he has money and dares ;)

Re:Dumbing down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742298)

There is a subtle difference between being daring and being suicidally depressed ...

Re:Dumbing down? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742426)

A suicidally depressed person wouldn't be bothered with the things Rich does.

Re:Dumbing down? (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744552)

How is saying "8000 pounds" "dumbed down"? Or "37000 feet"? I'll grant you the silly thousand-million-billion-gazillion stuff, but using standardized units is by no means dumb.

Dumbing-down measurements happens when they start making comparisons using units like "jumbo jets", elephants, Libraries of Congress, average-sized cars, etc.

Re:Dumbing down? (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745458)

>I would expect people who are able to understand subjects involving big numbers, are also able to understand the meaning of prefixes like "k", "M" and "G", and even (shudder) metric units.

While I feel the same way, and so do a lot of my friends, telling people that I rode 5 megameters on my bicycle last year, or that I'm going to drive 2 megameters to Canada next week, makes them frown. I can't imagine that anyone would find it smooth or intuitive to talk about megamiles. It's much easier to understand a base unit with very large scalars than much less-well-known prefixes and a scalar between 0 and 9, and while kilometers, for example, isn't designated as a base unit it functions as one in people's minds when they're talking about driving distances. I think the same thing happens with tons: people know how much a pound is, and may even know that 8000 pounds is roughly double the weight of their car, but most people don't have any good feel of what a ton is even if you tell them it's 2000 pounds. Sure, it's just math, but for a lot of people the added distance of having to do that math changes the idea from "that's a lot!" to "is that a lot?"

TOO LATE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35741880)

the atlantic's bottom is full of oil since 2010 and the pacific was just contaminated with, they say, 7.5 million times the normal radiation at japans shores... :(

Necessary (1)

pasv (755179) | more than 3 years ago | (#35741908)

To boldly go where no man has gone before...

failed.foibles, endless wars, shutdown welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742004)

just go. never mind pretending to disagree over & over with yourselves, & your other selves, while continuing to lie to each other, & everybody in the world, about your fatal selfish .5billion pop. eugenatic, & weapons peddling agendas. just go.

Passengers? (1)

android.dreamer (1948792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742046)

I would love to ride a large submarine across the Atlantic if it was like a Royal Caribbean cruise or like a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class flight. This would be all kinds of awesome, especially if it had large windows and cool lights to see Ocean life. He is already making Virgin Atlantic. Why not make Virgin Oceanic for passengers?

Re:Passengers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744526)

There's not much life in the middle of the Atlantic. Most of the pretty fish are native to reefs and confined to shallow depths near the coast.

Arcteryx Jackets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742466)

Welcome to buy the 2011 arcteryx jacket [arcteryxsjackets.com] in the New Year. there are many mens arcteryx jackets [powerbalan...celets.com] for you to choose. If you are interested in them, I think I will give you many style and color to choose.

I know he's British... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35742626)

but I can't help picturing Branson as the real life version of Saxton Hale.

Vertical excursion (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742680)

I wonder who holds the record for largest vertical excursion on earth (not space) over a lifetime?

Re:Vertical excursion (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744554)

I know an architect who would like to do this: an 8 month trip "starting" at the sea floor and ending at the top of Everest. He's looking for sponsors and maybe a reality TV segment to fund it. I think he has an early-20s son who he wants to do it with. The most expensive part is the beginning, as getting a ticket on a research sub is (iirc) in the $250k range. It'd be a cool trip to say the least.

No seamen please (2)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743398)

A virgin full of seamen, please!

Re:No seamen please (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745838)

What about a virgin full of semen?

Re:No seamen please (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35746124)

Yea, that was the pun; I intentionally misspelled it.

Why bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743520)

Why bother,
all he has to do is to learn to astrally project!
I've done it you can, we all can...

Steve Fosset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743738)

It seems like Branson isn't the initiator to this project as much as he'd like to give the impression of. According to http://deepflight.com/subs/df_challenger.htm, it was built for late Steve Fosset, and the entire thing was a Hawkes/Fosset project from the start.
Kudos to Branson for picking up the ball though.

This craft will be useful, in special ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745248)

Perhaps Branson wants to be uniquely able to retrieve the flight recorder
"black boxes" from his Airbus planes after they crash as a result of failure of
their computerized flight control systems malfunctioning.

There will be more Airbus crashes as a result of flaws in the flight control
systems. Scoff now, because later you will only be able to shake your heads.

Richard Branson announces more cheap publicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35746188)

The way it works it this: Branson offers the Virgin brand to a newsworthy enterprise and in return Branson's brand receives huge publicity in the media, worldwide, and keeps the hundreds of Virgin companies in the public consciousness. That kind of publicity is worth millions and he gets it on the cheap just by plastering the rocket/plane/car/boat/balloon/submarine with the Virgin logo.

It's a simple trick and you will be taken in by it again.

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