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

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posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 10:56 AM
Mods - I'm not entirely sure where this belongs, feel free to move!

(CNN) -- 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.

This is the geological equivalent of the Apollo moon missions, and it's exciting to see this sort of ambition in exploration outside of space and NASA.

About a year and a half ago ATS User FarBeyondDriven69 wrote a thread about something similar (see link ) and I have to say I'm glad that it's being followed through.

From what I understand they will have a series of very long pipes, to create a hole 33cm in diameter 3km deep. I'm very curious as to what they will find down oil? my wedding ring? (i can hope).

What are your thoughts ATS?

edit on 2-10-2012 by goldcoin because: source

edit on 2-10-2012 by goldcoin because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 11:07 AM
reply to post by goldcoin

Sounds patriotic... Its not what they may find , but what they gonna unleash I would say?
But yea I think they have to find a way to increase the world currency.....

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 11:08 AM
As long as it's not mole people I'll be ok with it =)

I'm not sure about diamonds or oil though.. maybe.. but I doubt it that deep below the surface since both are the result of organic matter being compressed over long periods of time.. but you never know!

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 11:18 AM
reply to post by goldcoin

Imagine if they found the so called "hollow earth."
They poke through into the mantle,and see trees,skies and "sun"made from the core of the earth.
And they find intelligent life,who have developed anti grav disks...
That would be cool,but more likley they will just find some nice warm rock and oily stuff.
Could be a new energy source?
Pipe the heat up to turbines on the surface maybe?

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

Then they never gonna tell us, they put the plug back on .. And find a way to stealthy infiltrate and level the the whole place down there, and say it never happened!

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 11:32 AM
It may sound silly, but I think we should leave well enough alone. Seeing as how in our history mankind has never drilled into the Earth's mantle scientists can only theorize what amount of pressure could be released even by drilling only a relatively small hole in it. Even though the chances are miniscule I would think there might exist the possibility of the small hole becoming a bigger hole and causing fissures in the crust that could spread, and spread, and spread, eventually causing the "worldwide super quake" scenario to occur.

Yeah, I know it's far fetched, but even so it IS possible. Look at what happened in the Gulf of Mexico with the BP oil spill. From what I've heard from friends who work in the Gulf on off-shore rigs even though the well was capped it is still seeping at the floor due to numerous other small fissures caused by pressure. So it concerns me what the possible repercussions could be from drilling into the Earth's mantle, and I wonder what safeguards they will have in place in case something goes wrong- and if they will be adequate.

EDIT: To say I know it sounds a bit like "fear mongering" though that isn't my intent. I just want to point out that scientists don't really KNOW what the repercussions could be, and that scientific curiosity in my opinion doesn't outweigh safety of the population!
edit on 2-10-2012 by littled16 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by littled16

I hear you-it could be dangerous-maybe not an earthquake,but a tiny organism/virus may be brought up from there accidently,and wipe out everything.
Not likeley I know,but not impossible either.

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:04 PM
I recall an Indian prophecy (hopi?) that the oceans turn black. The Macondo well in the gulf had extreme pressure and they had a hard time caping it at a mile below the surface of the water. This is 4km below the surface. If the drilled into a massive oil field, and they lost control of it, it would be near impossible to shut it down. Imagine trying to do what they did in the gulf, but 4km down. Then I could see the Indian prophecy of black oceans come true.

That is the problem with scientists sometimes. They do things that could spell the end, but do it anyway. I remember the nuclear bomb Trinity test. The physicists were betting amongst themselves that it would catch the atmosphere on fire, or destroy all of Nevada, etc. Catch the Atmosphere on Fire! But they did the test anyway.

I would hope they didn't get the money to try this experiment. Like the article says, they don't really know what is in the mantle.
edit on 2/10/12 by spirit_horse because: typo

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:09 PM
Last time we reach down there... 12km (7 miles deep) by Russian Kola Superdeep
Project Mohole by USA failed - went to moon instead
Current international project IODP

Another unexpected find was a menagerie of microscopic fossils as deep as 6.7 kilometers below the surface. Twenty-four distinct species of plankton microfossils were found, and they were discovered to have carbon and nitrogen coverings rather than the typical limestone or silica. Despite the harsh environment of heat and pressure, the microscopic remains were remarkably intact.

What if they brought up Godzilla ? OK OK
What if they brought up some nasty prehistoric virus ? Whoaaa
edit on 2-10-2012 by NullVoid because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:14 PM
I wonder if this is a false flag operation to find the Vril force and the people who control it.

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:54 PM
reply to post by littled16

You know that there are places on the Earth where there actually isn't any "plate" covering it and it is, for all intents and purposes, "exposed" mantle (as in, not "held in" by the crust) right? source

Oil is a whole different beast, because it's matter that is capable of easily escaping its surroundings.

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:57 PM
reply to post by goldcoin

So most of you guys are okay with someone drilling 3.7 miles down into the earth?

Last time I checked you guys all hate the fracking industry and they only go down a couple thousand feet??

Just me stating facts, nothing more......Not looking for a fight or arguement.........

This is patriotic???

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by 00nunya00

It said in your source that it was caused by overthrusting of the continental crust, in other words thrust upward by plate tectonics, which occurred over one billion years ago (1.2). Wouldn't have wanted to be around for that event. But that is not the same as drilling directly into the mantle. We really don't know what it could cause, or release.

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:18 PM
reply to post by littled16

True, but the point is that there are areas where, if there were any significant pressure that would actually "release" or "explode" or whatnot upon breaching its surface, these places would show clear evidence of that, and they don't. Now, there could be other substances down there that we're unfamiliar with that could be dangerous, and if they're like oil they might come up, but as far as seeing it like popping a balloon, that's pretty unlikely. I get your point, though, now.

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 02:12 PM
reply to post by goldcoin

That sounds exceedingly difficult, especially if they're starting at the bottom of the ocean, because the bottom of the itself we know very little about due to the massive pressure put on vehicles by the ocean itself. Trying to build a base at the bottom of the ocean would prove challenging enough let alone drilling deep into the Earth from that location for the purpose of exploration. Let's see them start with a base on the bottom of the ocean before we get too excited about them drilling to the mantle.

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 03:09 PM

Originally posted by GrimReaper86 Let's see them start with a base on the bottom of the ocean before we get too excited about them drilling to the mantle.

like they're gonna tell you if they have bases on the bottom of the ocean...

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 03:29 PM
This is a really bad idea.

The earth is hollow and people live inside it.

If they drill through the mantle a complete civilization will drown.

Actually, if the earth is hollow enough to take in the entire ocean, they will all drown and we will all die of drought... and the earth will stop spinning because it'll be fuller than a fat, beer swilling redneck.

ps. the earth may also belch, in which case it would likely explode possibly destroying our entire solar system.

edit on 2-10-2012 by HIWATT because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 04:19 PM
reply to post by prevenge

They're telling us they're sending what I assume to be people to check out the mantle after they've drilled it....or perhaps robots? Either way I don't see how they could drill to the mantle and collect samples without a base at the bottom of the ocean unless they just made that hole on the surface of the Earth instead of at the bottom of the ocean and I don't see that happening based on the article.

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 04:35 PM
Exciting stuff! By learning more about what goes on so far down, this could help with understanding tectonic forces, volcanoes and earthquakes...

reply to post by miniatus

Diamonds aren't formed from organic matter (although they can be...), but rather carbon forming crystals under extreme pressure.. According to the interwebs, most diamonds are formed in the mantle some 140-190km down...

posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 05:41 PM
This is absolute foolishness! I vote NO. What happens if something goes wrong? Do the people even have a say in the matter? What can we do to stop this? If they were to succeed, nothing would ever be published.
edit on 2-10-2012 by etoibmys because: (no reason given)

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