The success of the Russian mission in Antarctica Facts
Participating in friendly competition with British and American scientists, February 8, 2012 the first Russian explorers have succeeded in its 20-year mission to drill Antarctic ice to reach the prehistoric Lake Vostok, hidden under the ice for more than 14 million years. Scientists were able to extract 40 liters of water to be studied.
In Antarctica is about 90% ice and 70% of the fresh water on Earth. The third largest continent can be compared to the U.S., increased by half. More than 200 subglacial lakes found in the depths of the Arctic ice. They are in an isolated state for a sufficiently long period of time, and each of them has a unique environment. The water under the ice remains liquid because of the heat at the bottom of the lake, coming from the earth's core and the insulating effect of several kilometers of ice on top. The lake water is saturated with oxygen, the oxygen concentration in excess of the usual fresh water 50 times.
Best known subglacial lake is East. It is located in the eastern part of Antarctica. It is believed that the condition of the lake like Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Entseladuse where a huge layer of ice is perhaps a tank with sea water.
Lake Drilling began on 2 January 2012, and the promotion occurred at 1.75 meters per day. January 12 mission was suspended to make the necessary measurements in the last 5-10 meters and change drilling equipment for thermal. During the operation, the gap was filled with more than 50 million liters of kerosene and Freon to prevent her freeze. The system was designed so that when the waters of the lake, the high pressure will push the fluid back from the bottom, thereby contaminating the lake.
If the water samples taken from Lake Vostok, is finding life, it will only strengthen the confidence of scientists in the fact that life in the outer solar system there. Russian researchers plan to send a floating robot during the Antarctic summer in 2012 to obtain samples of water and sediment from the lake bottom.