News & AnalysisPOLAR SCIENCE

A Tiny Window Opens Into Lake Vostok, While a Vast Continent Awaits

Science  17 Feb 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6070, pp. 788-789
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6070.788

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Summary

They were slowed by annual evacuations and international concerns about their strategy, but after 2 decades they finally did it. On 8 February, the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute announced that a team of its engineers and scientists had drilled through nearly 4 kilometers of Antarctic ice to open what it called a "small window" into Lake Vostok, a dark, mysterious subglacial lake that has likely been cut off from the rest of the planet for millions of years. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin praised the team and promised them national awards.