The $1 Billion Journey to the Mantle of the Earth

The $1 Billion Journey to the Mantle of the Earth

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In an unprecedented $1 billion mission to reach the Earth’s mantle, geologists are set to start drilling 3.7 miles beneath the seafloor, to reach the Earth’s mantle. And according to project co-leader Damon Teagle, “It will be the equivalent of dangling a steel string the width of a human hair in the deep end of a swimming pool and inserting it into a thimble 1/10 mm wide.”

For sure — it’s not going to be easy. The mantle is a 1,860 mile-thick layer of slowly morphing rock between the Earth’s crust and the core. And to get there, geologists will have to slowly and patiently make their way through ultra-hard rocks with drill pipes that are 6.2 miles in length. And given that each drill bit lasts for about 50 to 60 hours, the entire project could take years.

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