linumax wrote to mention an article detailing an ambitious Japanese-led voyage towards the center of the earth. From the article: "The deep-sea drilling vessel Chikyu made a port call Thursday in Yokohama after ending its first training mission at sea since being built in July at a cost of 500 million dollars. The 57,500-ton Chikyu, which means the Earth in Japanese, is scheduled to embark in September 2007 on a voyage to collect the first samples of the Earth's mantle in human history. The project, led by Japan and the United States with the participation of China and the European Union, seeks clues on primitive organisms that were the forerunners of life and on the tectonic plates that shake the planet's foundations" They also hope to use the information to detect earthquakes more accurately. A 4 page PDF presentation about the Chikyu deep-sea drilling vessel is also available."