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Antarctic drilling project called off

Posted on Friday, 28 December, 2012 | Comment icon 11 comments

Image credit: Calee Allen / NOAA

An effort to bore through two miles of Antarctic ice to reach Lake Ellsworth has had to be aborted.

The ambitious project was aimed at providing scientists with a unique opportunity to study what life forms could be living in such an extreme and isolated environment. Using a mechanism that blasts hot water the team hoped to bore down through the ice to reach their goal, but despite three years of planning and a budget of over £8 million the project ultimately failed.

The main problem was that the hot water ended up leaking in to the ice around the bore hole and as a result the team were unable to get further than 300m down. Eventually it was determined that they didn't have enough fuel to reach the target and as a result the decision was made to abort the effort.

"An ambitious mission to drill through Antarctic ice to a lake that has been sealed off for thousands of years has been cut short."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by FlyingAngel on 28 December, 2012, 13:51
Isn't there a film where a group of people tried to drill the ice, then made a crack that make the whole ice continent to break apart, then lead to disaster?
Comment icon #3 Posted by MidKn13ght on 28 December, 2012, 20:16
My thoughts are if they do drill to the bottom whats to say they dont end up leaking some crazy killer bactiera or some super dino virus that would destroy all that we know.....LOL
Comment icon #4 Posted by kwin on 28 December, 2012, 20:17
Is this the current 'phallic wager'? Mt Everest getting boring?
Comment icon #5 Posted by csspwns on 29 December, 2012, 2:32
aww that sucks
Comment icon #6 Posted by Rlyeh on 29 December, 2012, 10:08
Mother Nature knows what she`s doing . Did you bother to read the article? It was a technical problem.
Comment icon #7 Posted by HuntrSThompsun on 29 December, 2012, 14:52
Call off what you can't do??.. typical" . We send all these things into space to get an upper hand on the competition like n. Korea to kil l that nuke satellite. But when we find human bones in our back yard that are 12 ft tall we dismiss it as a natural occurring freak in nature. Government only cares on resources, and defense
Comment icon #8 Posted by NikkiAidyn on 29 December, 2012, 20:52
A shame.. I was looking forward to seeing if anything interesting is under there..
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin on 29 December, 2012, 21:22
It was POSTPONED until next year due to technical difficulties, NOT called-off all together. They will continue drilling at that time(the next favorable season cycle), once they figure-out the "bypass" problem.
Comment icon #10 Posted by pallidin on 30 December, 2012, 22:18
This has been, and will continue to be, a multi-year project. All is still good. There was(is) a major snag. However, the engineer's are confident that they will overcome that "snag" of the incomplete bypass relief far under the ice. The bypass connection is important to relieve pressure; else further drilling can not continue in a scientifically responsible way. That connection was unable to be done, and was determined that there was not enough time in that current season-cycle to do much to correct it. Hence, they have to wait until next year.
Comment icon #11 Posted by reggie2011 on 2 January, 2013, 2:25

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