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The Boston Globe

Opinion

opinion | Gareth Cook

Space on Earth

Deep-sea exploration is the new frontier of creatures, cancer cures, and even insight into other planets

AMERICA’S EXPLORING spirit seems to have subsided. The glory days of Apollo are long gone. The ambitious quest to determine whether Mars once contained life - or does so today - has fizzled in budget cuts. A nation that once dreamt of frontiers now prefers the couch and a good episode of “Dancing With The Stars.’’

A potential antidote came recently from the filmmaker James Cameron. After years of development, Cameron climbed aboard a bright green, technically innovative submarine and dropped to the bottom of the world. He piloted his craft seven miles straight down to the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, the lowest place on earth. Cameron was the first person to ever make the dangerous trip solo, and he came back describing a haunting, desolate landscape, evocative of the moon.

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