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United Kingdom Science

Britain Suspends Exploratory Drilling of Antarctic Lake 37

A British plan to blast a path through more than two miles of ice to reach an Antarctic lake has been suspended because of technical problems. From the article: "In a move that clears the way for U.S. and Russian teams to take the lead, Professor Martin Siegert said technical problems and a lack of fuel had forced the closure on Christmas Day of the 7-million-pound ($11 million) project, which was looking for life forms and climate change clues in the lake-bed sediment. 'This is of course, hugely frustrating for us, but we have learned a lot this year,' said Siegert of the University of Bristol, principal investigator for the mission, which was headed by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). 'By the end, the equipment was working well, and much of it has now been fully field-tested,' he said on the BAS website."
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Britain Suspends Exploratory Drilling of Antarctic Lake

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  • by OolimPhon ( 1120895 ) on Friday December 28, 2012 @08:09AM (#42410127)

    They are abandoning the project because they don't have enough fuel on site to be able to drill down to the lake.

    This is because they are using hot water to melt their way downwards, which is fine, but much of the water is escaping sideways into cracks in the ice. This means they needed more water to reach their objective. The water has to be melted from ice collected on the surface, and that takes fuel. Not enough fuel: stop wasting everybody's time and money.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak