(Image Source: The Daily Mail

BY SCOTT MALONE

ANCHOR LOGAN TITTLE

It wasn’t a very merry Christmas for a team of scientists attempting to uncover an ancient isolated lake that has been frozen over for thousands of years. ITV explains.

“Scientists from Bristol University attempting to drill beneath Antarctica in a search for undiscovered life have called off their mission.”

The scientists were attempting to drill through two miles of ice to access a prehistoric lake - Lake Ellsworth - in a search for evidence of prehistoric life. But they ran into one big problem. (Via Sky News)

“Pressure. At lake level, it will be 300 times what it is at sea level. So the team is digging a huge cavity below the surface to equalize the pressure.” (Via Al Jazeera)

According to the Cambridge News, “workers were unable to properly form the cavity” 1,000 feet below the surface, and the scientists “used up so much fuel trying to fix the problem that they did not have enough left for the rest of the project.”

The Science editor for the BBC says the $13 million project was a big time bet that didn’t give the scientists any returns.

“Searching for life in the hidden waters of Lake Ellsworth was one of the most ambitious British science projects of recent years, so this failure in the drilling programme will come as a huge blow … They may try again next year. But this was frontier science, a gamble, and it did not pay off.”

And a writer for Wired points out “While the project is not necessarily over … the difficulty of getting supplies to the region means that retrying the experiment would be a significant undertaking.” He adds the work can only be done during Antarctica’s summer months - October through February.

The research team is returning back to England, but hopes to return for another shot at reaching the lake next year.

Scientists Call Off Antarctic Subglacial Drilling Project

by Scott Malone
0
Transcript
Dec 27, 2012

Scientists Call Off Antarctic Subglacial Drilling Project

 

(Image Source: The Daily Mail

BY SCOTT MALONE

ANCHOR LOGAN TITTLE

It wasn’t a very merry Christmas for a team of scientists attempting to uncover an ancient isolated lake that has been frozen over for thousands of years. ITV explains.

“Scientists from Bristol University attempting to drill beneath Antarctica in a search for undiscovered life have called off their mission.”

The scientists were attempting to drill through two miles of ice to access a prehistoric lake - Lake Ellsworth - in a search for evidence of prehistoric life. But they ran into one big problem. (Via Sky News)

“Pressure. At lake level, it will be 300 times what it is at sea level. So the team is digging a huge cavity below the surface to equalize the pressure.” (Via Al Jazeera)

According to the Cambridge News, “workers were unable to properly form the cavity” 1,000 feet below the surface, and the scientists “used up so much fuel trying to fix the problem that they did not have enough left for the rest of the project.”

The Science editor for the BBC says the $13 million project was a big time bet that didn’t give the scientists any returns.

“Searching for life in the hidden waters of Lake Ellsworth was one of the most ambitious British science projects of recent years, so this failure in the drilling programme will come as a huge blow … They may try again next year. But this was frontier science, a gamble, and it did not pay off.”

And a writer for Wired points out “While the project is not necessarily over … the difficulty of getting supplies to the region means that retrying the experiment would be a significant undertaking.” He adds the work can only be done during Antarctica’s summer months - October through February.

The research team is returning back to England, but hopes to return for another shot at reaching the lake next year.

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