Monday 6 February 2012

Russia drills into Antarctic Lake not accessed in over 20 million years

Russia drills into Antarctic Lake not accessed in over 20 million years
Despite rumours of their demise in -80 degrees Fahrenheit, a Russian Scientific team succeed in penetrating over 2 miles (3,768 metres) into the depths of Antarctic Lake Vostok

"The buried lake may be similar to the conditions on Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa, Ria Novosti said.

The Lake Vostok project has been years in the making, with initial drilling at the massive lake -- 6,060 square miles (15,690 square kilometers) -- starting in 1998. The scientists were quickly able to reach 11,800 feet (3,600 meters), but had to stop due to concerns of possible contamination of the never-before-touched lake water.

The scientists came up with a clever way to make sure the water would not be contaminated: They agreed to drill until a sensor warned them of free water. At that point they took out the kerosene and adjusted the pressure so that none of the liquids would fall into the lake, but rather lake water would rise through the hole due to pressure from below.

The Russians are not alone in such a mission: Scientists from around the world are literally racing to explore the mysteries of Antarctica. There are two other Antarctic digs underway.

A team from the British Antarctic Survey is on a competing mission, set to plumb the depths of Lake Ellsworth, one of a string of more than 370 lakes beneath Antarctica that may soon see light for the first time. And a third Antarctic expedition -- a study of the subglacial Whillans Ice Stream -- mainly features U.S. scientists."
-Fox News 'Russian scientists reach buried Antarctic Lake Vostok' Published February 06, 2012|
Google + This Post

A group of Russian scientists in Antarctica has succeeded in drilling to a lake buried two miles beneath the icy landmass, Russian news service Ria Novosti reported -- following a week of radio silenc..

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