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back to article Polar drilling effort hits snag: Boffins' search for life put on ice

The British boffinry team hunting for life under the Antarctic ice-sheet over ancient Lake Ellsworth have run into trouble. Deploying the drill down the borehole The scientists said today that they have a "serious problem" with the main boiler, used to generate hot water for the drill. The drill works with 90°C water, …

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Anonymous Coward

Careful you don't drop your keys down that hole...

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you can probably fish it out with a really long pencil

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Megaphone

Service plan?

Hers's hoping they get their replacement burner-parts somewhat faster than Brutish Gas managed to source a replacement flaim-failure solenoid for my boiler.

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Re: Service plan?

I have to admit I was thinking it was quite courageous that having suffered a pretty serious problem they just lobbed the spare in and went ahead anyway.

But on the other hand, I guess that when your in the Antarctic and have presumeably a pretty limited window to get anything done, there is also an element of "use it or lose it" so you might as well have a go ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Service plan?

Hope the boiler control didnt come from Comet

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Gimp

For some reason that subtitle has left me thinking of an ex of mine. :-(

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So?

I sometimes go months in between drillings. =/

Being serious for a moment, I really hope the project doesn't have to be scrapped. If they can prove the existance of life down there (and hopefully take some photos of afforementioned subterranean world!), it might convince folks at NASA to send the next rover probe to Titan. That'd be freaking amazing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So?

"If they can prove the existance of life down there"

What do you think broke the boiler? All I can think of when looking at those pics is The Thing.

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Mushroom

The Fools

Dont they realise all these "accidents" are just Cthulhu stirring?

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Ru
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Headmaster

Re: The Fools

That's Shoggoth country.

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Alien

Re: The Fools

That's Yob Soggoth.

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Re: The Fools

Taken me all day 'researching' to find this (oh, the horror!)

http://www.goominet.com/unspeakable-vault/vault/420/

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Alien

Re: The Fools

As anyone who has read A Colder War ( http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm ) would be more than conscious...

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Black Helicopters

It's not a remake

of Ice Station Zebra is it? (yes ok North South issue.....)

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You have to hand it to 'em.Taking all that kit down there without anyone asking "Does it work?"

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Taking all that kit down there without anyone asking "Does it work?"

It's called research. You try something new. It doesn't go how you expected. You step back, assess what happened, change something, and try again.

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FAIL

No, its called engineering

You build the equipment to be as reliable as necessary under the expected conditions.

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Anonymous Coward

So that's what the Xbox360 design team are making now

Burner control boards...

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Laser

They should talk to the US government and ask them to bore a nice hole in the ice with one of those underused satellite laser systems floating in outer space

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Anonymous Coward

I woke to find my burner had failed today

but a quick blast of compressed air cleared the pilot jet and now all's well.

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Bronze badge

Delivery problems

It's not that the Christmas period has stuffed delivery times, it's because DHL doesn't have an entry for Antarctica, and the ice station doesn't have a zip code.

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Linux

Re: Delivery problems

The U.S. base in Antarctica has one: APO AP 96599-1035. Perhaps they could run it over to the British Antarctic Survey station.

Penguin 'cause Antarctica.

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Polar Drill runs out of steam?

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Gold badge

Can't they use..

.. geo thermal heat?

Oh, wait ..

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Facepalm

Well the ice should be a bit softer what with all this global warming going on

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Coat

Requisite pop culture references

Lovecraft's already been covered, so I'll knock out the rest of them to save everyone the trouble:

Are you sure the crew isn't Norwegian? How many dogs do they have? Are they all accounted for? Because that would be just like John Carpenter's movie The Thing. It was also about digging things out of the Antarctic ice. Spoiler alert - The Thing was a shapeshifting alien.

And for the two people that saw it - what if they find some ancient city/hunting ground/temple used by an interstellar hunting club to grow sentient biological weapons to hunt for sport? Because under the ice in Antarctica is also the most logical place for said hunting club to locate their lodge.

I'll let some other Stargate SG-1 fan talk about the chair.

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Re: Requisite pop culture references

The chair! Glowing yellow jellyfish of fiery death are down there!

Also, when the aliens built their hunting lodge, Antarctica wasn't frozen. Pretty sure that was in the film.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Requisite pop culture references

Carpenter does and has done a lot of great stuff, but I don't think you'll find anyone who knows and has taste loving any of his *remakes* more than the originals.

His version of The Thing was alright, but the original is a lot better.

If they should have the temerity to drill, they may well unleash the many-angled ones, OH NO, just as we approach the 21st (OMG) and the eternal winter solstice to follow.

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Alien

Re: Requisite pop culture references

You forgot to mention the Cybermen. Apparently, the drilling rig is just a cover so that Cyberagents can install energy transfer equipment to help save Mondas at the expense of earth...

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Facepalm

21st of December is in a "few days"

No one else going to mention the Mayans? Maybe they'll release the zombie virus...

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Big Brother

Surely http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazis_at_the_Center_of_the_Earth is what we need to be worried about?

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The search for life has been suspended until we figure out how to boil water.

We're doomed.

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Happy

Oh Noes-

The ancient knowledge has been lost!

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Coat

so they all went inside and put the kettle on....

<-- ok I get it, anyway it's cold out there!

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