This web page's content and links are no longer actively maintained. It is available for reference purposes only. NASA Official: Robert A. Bindschadler


This is a complex and challenging project. Many parts of the work are at the cutting edge of science, technology or logistic capabilities. Each of these problems must be successfully overcome for complete success. The sequence of separate project elements is:

Drilling apparatus
Drilling apparatus


We hope to return the next year for our first major field effort. Job#1 is to drill through the ice shelf so we can access the sub-ice water cavity. We’ll melt a 5-inch diameter hole with water heated by commercial-grade car-wash heaters and pumped through high-pressure insulated hoses. The work is noisy and requires great care given the water’s scalding temperature (just below boiling) and high-pressure (roughly 100 atmospheres). A hole through the expected 550 meters of ice will take less than a day.