Researchers end quest to drill through 3km of ice after fuel runs low

Sad to say, but British researchers have called off their quest to drill through the 3km-thick sheet of ice over Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica. The mission to find organisms that have evolved in isolation for at least 100,000 years was called off after the team realized it didn't have enough fuel to power its water jet drill all the way to the lake. Complications arose trying to connect the drill's main hose to a cavity of water created in the ice by a short pilot hose. The team burned through so much fuel trying to get the hose connected properly that they no longer had enough left to reach the lake below the glacier's surface. The plan has not been scrapped entirely, however. The scientists are heading back to the UK, along with all their kit, to revise their plan and modify their equipment for the next attempt. Still, it appears breaking through to Lake Ellsworth is at least three years out. For more from geoscientist and expedition member Martin Siegert, check out the source link.