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Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

Posted October 03, 2012 11:37 AM

From ExtremeTech:

The mantle is a 3000 km thick layer of super-heated, mostly solid, rock that fills the space between the human-dominated crust, and the dense iron-rich core. It is believed that knowing more about the makeup of the mantle could have significant impact on our understanding of the origins and nature of Earth. Everything from seismology to climatology and plate tectonics could be affected.

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#1

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 1:13 PM

A billion bucks? What, are they gonna do it with silver spoons?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 2:32 PM

Environmental studies and consent permits.

The high-tech drill bits being used to bore down into the crust only have an active lifespan of 50-60 hours. After that, the team will have to back out of the hole, change the bit, and plunge back down to the murky depths. To top it off, the borehole is only a 30 cm across… and at the bottom of the sea.

Sounds interesting, but is anyone else reminded of that movie "The core" or that classic Dr Who episode where they drilled down into the earth's core and found tasty glowing green sludge?

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#3
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 2:33 PM

Horrible movie. Positively atrocious!

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 2:37 PM

But very entertaining (in a bad science sort of way).

From Wikipedia.....

In a poll of hundreds of scientists about bad science fiction films, The Core was voted the worst

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#5
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 3:01 PM

No doubt. Somebody's film has to hold that dubious distinction, but did it have to be so bad? Ugh! Here's an idea: Let's those guys drill that hole and then send that film and its producers down it just to see how close they came to Reality, but this time in the most literal sense of the term lol.

How long does this drill bit last in molten magma? I mean, it should go all the way to the iron core, right? When it gets there, will it rust? [dialing Hollywood now...]

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#14
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 11:36 PM

Well the drill bit was actually sonic (no contact) and the whole thing was made of Unobtainium .

What it REALLY needed was to have the acting, special effects and budget of a Syfi channel movie to really be in a class of its own (now there is some awful cr*p).

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#20
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/04/2012 8:01 AM

But, does LynDoor Industries have enough Unobtainium stocked to make this a reality?

Where can I buy precious metal commodities for it before the demand hits????

The cost is projected to be $1 Billion? No way no how! With scientists, expect the cost to escalate to $5 Billion and up. Do ya really think they can bean count?

Now, IF the Gov't takes over the project, then expect it to soar to $0.5 Trillion!!!! Nobama will let this fly for sure, because it's a huge waste of $$$$, but he won't let the oil companies drill NADA.........

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#22
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/05/2012 3:31 AM

Sphere is also up there with the worst

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#24
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/07/2012 2:00 PM

True, but at least you could have a laugh and be entertained by "The core", unlike Sphere.

I wish I could choose to forget the whole movie.

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#6

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 3:43 PM

Well now I've heard it all, don't they know they can enter through a volcano? Hello! Journey to the center of the Earth....LOL

Have they lost their minds? I thought we already tried this and they got so deep the drill bits would melt before they could drill any further,,,,,or was that just a dream....? Anyway just tell me who is supplying the drill bits so I can get a piece of the action....$$

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#7
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 3:46 PM

They must have some hellacious mud pumps planned if they're gonna to pull this one off.

Meanwhile I've contacted our local herpetologist and arranged for some doctored-up monitor lizards to be placed on standby just in case...

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#15
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/04/2012 3:08 AM

You're probably thinking of "Project Mohole", back in the 1960s - but no one got down nearly deep enough to melt bits. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohorovi%C4%8Di%C4%87_discontinuity for some background.

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#19
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/04/2012 7:26 AM

No I think it's the Kola borehole...

"The main target depth was set at 15,000 m (49,000 ft). On 6 June 1979, the world depth record held by the Bertha Rogers hole in Washita County, Oklahoma, at 9,583 m (31,440 ft)[3] was broken. In 1983, the drill passed 12,000 m (39,000 ft), and drilling was stopped for about a year to celebrate the event.[4] This idle period may have contributed to a break-down on 27 September 1984: after drilling to 12,066 m (39,587 ft), a 5,000 m (16,000 ft) section of the drill string twisted off and was left in the hole. Drilling was later restarted from 7,000 m (23,000 ft).[4] The hole reached 12,262 m (40,230 ft) in 1989. In that year the hole depth was expected to reach 13,500 m (44,300 ft) by the end of 1990 and 15,000 m (49,000 ft) by 1993.[5][6] However, due to higher than expected temperatures at this depth and location, 180 °C (356 °F) instead of expected 100 °C (212 °F), drilling deeper was deemed unfeasible and the drilling was stopped in 1992.[4] With the expected further increase in temperature with increasing depth, drilling to 15,000 m (49,000 ft) would have meant working at a projected 300 °C (570 °F), at which the drill bit would no longer work.[citation needed]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_Superdeep_Borehole

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#16
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/04/2012 4:35 AM

<...who is supplying the drill bits...>

Stinky Pete. Bad luck.

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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/04/2012 10:01 AM

One billion bucks? Crikey, in 1959 James Mason and Pat Boone journeyed all the way to the center of the Earth (along with Arlene Dahl, whose hair and clothing remained remarkably intact and to an utterly astonishing degree. More remarkable: she, still a virgin) returned by means of a completely unconvincing and highly improbable conveyance and bought the tee-shirts at a local thrift shop for a paltry $3.44 million ($27.23 million in today's dollars).

Oh yes, and Mr. Boone had to buy trousers as well, him having alighted buck naked (at terminal velocity, no less) upon the branches of a large tree located behind some sleazy Mediterranean chicken-ranch-cum-convent: Wholly Sisters of the First Church of What's Happening Now and Discount House of Worship. At least he was in the right place and, yes, the whole film is rife with such serendipitous events (it is not known whether he capitalized on this one however). If actors can do it, so can we.

Now, what about the other $972.77 million*? What are those for? The caterers? I don't think so.

No, don't say it: toilet seats for Area 51.

-----

* $122.87 million in 1959 dollars.

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#8

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 4:43 PM

Sounds interesting! Personally I wouldn't mind my stocks getting up high enough for me to cash some out in order to buy my own oil rig here in North Dakota and test out the Abiotic oil theory myself!

Given my two summers of work I did in the oil fields I came across loads of geologists that all seem to have some theory that there is something below our present oil fields about 7 miles down that keeps showing up on the big seismograph mapping systems as what clearly reads like a massive oil deposit.

Word has it that numbers of these geological mapping anomalies are found all over the world in places with large oil fields as well.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/on-energy/2011/09/14/abiotic-oil-a-theory-worth-exploring

and

http://www.viewzone.com/abioticoilx.html

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB7PY28_dvI

Just for starters.

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#9

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 5:27 PM

Ruh-row. This sounds crazy. Why not just consider this a documentary, and learn from it:

Crack in the World

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#10

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 7:17 PM

Won't the earth go flat?

Jus askin.

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#11
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 8:15 PM

Nah- with all the CO2 that can be liquified & pumped down to replace it they ain't gonna be no prob. Now if only you guys can put the White House down there- man the pressure would inflate the Earth an' increase the available real estate!!

Whoops- is that political?

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#12
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 9:27 PM

No, the White house is a building. It is apolitical.

Let's throw in the two Houses of Congress too, as long as we're cleaning house.

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#13
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Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/03/2012 9:38 PM

Silicon implants.

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#17

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/04/2012 6:04 AM

Hasn't Jules Verne done it already?
Just askin'
Del

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#18

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/04/2012 6:12 AM

Not going to work, but I take the money! Where do I apply?

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#23

Re: Scientists Planning $1 Billion Mission to Drill Into the Earth's Mantle

10/06/2012 11:33 AM

...why don't they just "simulate" it happening inside a supercomputer, add in CGI-illustrated characters, and call it good? (wink,wink)

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