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Andrew Alden

Lake Vostok Is Breached

By February 8, 2012

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In a development that has been years in coming, scientific drillers on Sunday succeeded in reaching a dark body of ice water called Lake Vostok, hidden beneath almost 4 kilometers of the central Antarctic ice cap. It was a thrilling technical achievement that involved the use of kerosene and freon as drilling fluids and a novel negative-pressure technique to ensure that when the drill bit reached the water, the opening sucked the water up into it, preventing contamination of the pristine environment.

The New York Times has a thorough description of the occasion. One especially nice thing is that the news came on Russia's national Science Day. More nations should have such a thing.

Comments

February 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm
(1) David Snyder says:

If they want to leave it pristine, they should leave it alone. What purpose does this serve?

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