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MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russia’s world-renowned adventurer, Fyodor Konyukhov, is planning to dive in 2018 to the Mariana Trench, the deepest known part of the world's oceans, and to collect its floor samples, he told TASS on Friday.
"The descent has scientific purposes," Konyukhov said, adding that he will be accompanied by Artur Chilingarov, Russian presidential envoy for cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic.
"We will take the Mariana Trench floor samples. No one has done this before. Two tectonic plates meet there," he said.
"I am an Orthodox priest and plan to install there an Orthodox cross made of stone," the traveler said. "It will be 80 centimeters long and will weigh some 60 kilograms."
He added that his companion Chilingarov will place a Russian flag on the bottom of the Mariana Trench that is more than 11,000 meters deep.
The descent may take eight hours, Konyukhov said.
Konyukhov, an artist by profession who was ordained as a Russian Orthodox priest in December 2010 has a great many spectacular exploits to his credit. The list includes two ascents to Mount Everest and ascents to the highest peaks of all other continents, a voyage across the Atlantic in a single-row boat for 46 days, the crossing of an 800-km distance in Greenland within 16 days, several solo circumnavigation tours, a single-handed non-stop tour around Antarctica, and a solo rowing voyage across the Pacific in 159 days.