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Richard Branson to Penetrate Ocean's Depths With 'Virgin Oceanic' Mission

After unveiling his 'Necker Nymph' submersible last year, Richard Branson is taking his underwater adventures to the next level, with 'Virgin Oceanic' -- an initiative to explore the deepest parts of the world's oceans.

Over the next two years, Branson hopes to penetrate the deepest points of the world's five oceans with a fleet of high-tech toys, including a one-manned submarine and a 125-foot catamaran, which will serve as the sub's mothership. Chris Welsh will pilot the first dive into the Mariana Trench, later this year, with Branson slated to take the helm during the sub's second mission, to the Puerto Rico Trench.

If all goes to plan, the team should break some world records, and do some scientific research along the way.

Tags: exploration, ocean, RichardBranson, science, submarine, top, underwater, virgin, VirginOceanic