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  Monday, January 25, 2021
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The 51st Russian Antarctic expedition is going to continue deep drilling to subglacial Lake Vostok
The 51st Russian Antarctic expedition is going to continue deep drilling to subglacial Lake Vostok, chief Valeri Lukin told journalists on Friday. No drilling has yet been done this season, he said. "We got the permit only in the middle of last January, when the season was drawing to the end. This year we've overhauled the drilling equipment and inspected the well. Now, it is fully ready for drilling operations to go on. We'll resume them during the 2005-2006 season under the program of our expedition and plan to work another 50 meters," Lukin said. He also said that one scientific discovery of the expedition is another island located in the central part of the lake. The subglacial lake will be reached in 2007-2008. "We hope it will happen in 2007," Lukin remarked. "The lake's main mystery is that we'll for the first time extract what existed according to the entirely different laws of evolution several million years ago without contact with the present-day atmosphere," the researcher said. Deep ice drilling above the relict lake was suspended in the late 1990s, when the well leading towards the unique subglacial water body reached 3,623 meters. Only 130 meters remains to go. The point is that there is a danger of polluting the lake. In recent years Russian specialists have created equipment capable of penetrating into the lake without infecting it with hazardous matter. Researchers of the ice taken from the well and upcoming study of Lake Vostok can be crucial for knowing more about the climate and evolution of life on our planet
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