The $1 billion mission to reach the Earth's mantle

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    Oct 02, 2012 8:46 PM GMT
    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/01/tech/mantle-earth-drill-mission/index.html?c=&page=1

    Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet.

    This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth's mantle -- a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet -- and bring back the first ever fresh samples.

    It could help answer some of our biggest questions about the origins and evolution of Earth itself, with almost all of the sea floor and continents that make up the Earth´s surface originating from the mantle.

    Geologists involved in the project are already comparing it to the Apollo Moon missions in terms of the value of the samples it could yield.

    However, in order to reach those samples, the team of international scientists must first find a way to grind their way through ultra-hard rocks with 10 km-long (6.2 miles) drill pipes -- a technical challenge that one of the project co-leaders Damon Teagle, from the UK's University of Southampton calls, "the most challenging endeavor in the history of Earth science."
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    Oct 02, 2012 8:50 PM GMT
    $1bil to get a sample of something that can be gotten for free from a volcano?

    Yeah, makes perfect sense. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Oct 02, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidIt could help answer some of our biggest questions about the origins and evolution of Earth itself, with almost all of the sea floor and continents that make up the Earth´s surface originating from the mantle.

    The phrase "spring a leak" comes to mind, and not referring to the $1 billion dollar leak.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Oct 03, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
    paulflexes said$1bil to get a sample of something that can be gotten for free from a volcano?

    Yeah, makes perfect sense. icon_rolleyes.gif


    volcanoes are filled with magma; the is a misconception that the mantle is all magma. in fact, much of it is solid.
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    Oct 03, 2012 12:33 AM GMT
    Sounds like a great idea. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    ...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 03, 2012 12:38 AM GMT
    Ugh. This is a worse idea than the time I tried to shoplift a watermelon out of Publix only wearing a wifebeater....
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    Oct 03, 2012 12:44 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidSounds like a great idea. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    ...


    everything. I dont understand why we spend so much money on insane projects, when there are more important things to focus on.
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    Oct 03, 2012 12:52 AM GMT
    tigga87 said
    Ariodante saidSounds like a great idea. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    ...


    everything.


    That was already implied in the facetious tone of my post.
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    Oct 03, 2012 12:58 AM GMT
    jmusmc85 saidUgh. This is a worse idea than the time I tried to shoplift a watermelon out of Publix only wearing a wifebeater....
    I'll tell you like I told the homeless dude who just got out of jail for stealing a Toyota:

    "You fucking loser. Why the fuck couldn't you have stolen a Lexus or Bentley? Are you really that hateful toward people of your own income bracket that you'd steal an average person's stuff? Go big or go home, moron."

    And yes, I really did tell a guy that, after he bragged to me about being an "ex-con for stealing a Toyota." icon_cool.gif
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Oct 03, 2012 2:16 AM GMT
    $1 Billion?! They must have never heard of Boston's "Big Dig" and it's only a tunnel!
  • Bakerboy

    Posts: 70

    Oct 03, 2012 2:29 AM GMT
    I'm surprised the reception here is so negative. I think we need more of this -- how is this a waste of money when it contributes to answering basic questions we ask ourselves from the moment we reach consciousness?

    Certainly we've wasted $1 billion on worse things than this.
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    Oct 03, 2012 2:44 AM GMT
    calibro said
    paulflexes said$1bil to get a sample of something that can be gotten for free from a volcano?

    Yeah, makes perfect sense. icon_rolleyes.gif


    volcanoes are filled with magma; the is a misconception that the mantle is all magma. in fact, much of it is solid.


    My geo prof calls it "chunky soup"
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    Oct 03, 2012 2:47 AM GMT
    Meh, I think it's better to learn more about our own damn planet, which is still obviously a mystery, then to spend billions on space.
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    Oct 03, 2012 2:55 AM GMT
    calibro said
    paulflexes said$1bil to get a sample of something that can be gotten for free from a volcano?

    Yeah, makes perfect sense. icon_rolleyes.gif


    volcanoes are filled with magma; the is a misconception that the mantle is all magma. in fact, much of it is solid.
    I would say prove it, but maybe that's what the $1bil is for. icon_lol.gif
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Oct 03, 2012 2:59 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    tigga87 said
    Ariodante saidSounds like a great idea. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    ...


    everything.


    That was already implied in the facetious tone of my post.


    Like neutering 95% of the population!
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    Oct 03, 2012 3:03 AM GMT
    Montague said
    Ariodante said
    tigga87 said
    Ariodante saidSounds like a great idea. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    ...


    everything.


    That was already implied in the facetious tone of my post.


    Like neutering 95% of the population!
    I thought they'd already been neutered. Nobody has any balls anymore.
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    Oct 03, 2012 3:18 AM GMT
    I dug a hole that deep in my backyard once!! I sell 'em a sample for $5
  • RaggedyMan

    Posts: 7185

    Oct 03, 2012 5:34 AM GMT
    what could it possibly prove? hasnt anyone seen the movie Core? geez... icon_smile.gif
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    Oct 03, 2012 5:35 AM GMT
    sanjose408 saidwhat could it possibly prove? hasnt anyone seen the movie Core? geez... icon_smile.gif


    The lesson here is we've already suffered enough with that film to have to live the reality.
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    Oct 03, 2012 5:37 AM GMT
    sanjose408 saidwhat could it possibly prove? hasnt anyone seen the movie Core? geez... icon_smile.gif


    Hey come on now. That was a brilliant and scientifically accurate film with impeccable... yeah no i can't do this.
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    Oct 03, 2012 5:38 AM GMT
    CrispyC said
    sanjose408 saidwhat could it possibly prove? hasnt anyone seen the movie Core? geez... icon_smile.gif


    Hey come on now. That was a brilliant and scientifically accurate film with impeccable... yeah no i can't do this.


    I'm surprised you got as far as you did.
  • RaggedyMan

    Posts: 7185

    Oct 03, 2012 5:38 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    sanjose408 saidwhat could it possibly prove? hasnt anyone seen the movie Core? geez... icon_smile.gif


    The lesson here is we've already suffered enough with that film to have to live the reality.

    i thought it was a masterpiece. shoot a microwave at the core to control volcanoes only to stop the flow. then get some nukes to start that bitch up again. makes sense.
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    Oct 03, 2012 5:39 AM GMT
    sanjose408 said
    Ariodante said
    sanjose408 saidwhat could it possibly prove? hasnt anyone seen the movie Core? geez... icon_smile.gif


    The lesson here is we've already suffered enough with that film to have to live the reality.

    i thought it was a masterpiece. shoot a microwave at the core to control volcanoes only to stop the flow. then get some nukes to start that bitch up again. makes sense.


    I like when the ship blasted inside the giant geode. You could tangibly see Hillary Swank's credibility as an actress diminish minute by minute.
  • RaggedyMan

    Posts: 7185

    Oct 03, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    sanjose408 said
    Ariodante said
    sanjose408 saidwhat could it possibly prove? hasnt anyone seen the movie Core? geez... icon_smile.gif


    The lesson here is we've already suffered enough with that film to have to live the reality.

    i thought it was a masterpiece. shoot a microwave at the core to control volcanoes only to stop the flow. then get some nukes to start that bitch up again. makes sense.


    I like when the ship blasted inside the giant geode. You could tangibly see Hillary Swank's credibility as an actress diminish minute by minute.

    i bet she wishes she was the one who got left behind.
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTpOmYlEVl9Xr9yx_Vg5Hj
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    Oct 03, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    CrispyC said
    sanjose408 saidwhat could it possibly prove? hasnt anyone seen the movie Core? geez... icon_smile.gif


    Hey come on now. That was a brilliant and scientifically accurate film with impeccable... yeah no i can't do this.


    I'm surprised you got as far as you did.


    I'm a surprising man. Maybe.

    But it's not THAT bad. Although there's one called sunshine by good old danny boyle which is much better but a billion dollar mission to the sun may not be such a good idea. The movie says so it must be true.