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U.S. reaches Antarctica’s buried lake, as search for life continues

January 28, 2013

U.S. reaches Antarctica’s buried lake, as search for life continues

Search for life continues.

A team of scientists have reported that they have reached a lake buried beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. After ten years of planning and over three year of preparation, the team of national researchers, including many from Montana State University (MSU), has reached the submerged Lake Whillans.

Leading up to the historic moment, the team had to endure a week of weather delays after having to move heavy equipment hundreds of miles across the ice in Antarctica. Finally, at 5 a.m. on January 28, the researchers reached Lake Whillans through melted holes in half a mile of Antarctic ice, completing the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling project (WISSARD).  WISSARD, which is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs, began on January 21.

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