UPDATE: Valery Lukin, director of the Russian Antarctic programme, told Nature on Tuesday that data from a number of sensors monitoring the drilling was still being analysed. See ‘Too soon’ to confirm success of Antarctic lake drilling for more.
Quoting an unnamed source, a Russian newswire is claiming that scientists have successfully drilled into an Antarctic lake that has been sealed off from the world for some 15 million years.
RIA Novosti says the two-decade long project to reach Lake Vostok has finally had its literal breakthrough, crunching through the 3,750-metre thick ice to reach the lake.
“Yesterday, our scientists stopped drilling at the depth of 3,768 meters and reached the surface of the sub-glacial lake,” the source told RIA Novosti.
The team had been expected to finally reach the lake this year, but Nature has been unable to confirm this information with any of the drilling team.
For more on the drilling project see ‘Race against time for raiders of the lost lake’.
We will bring you more on this as the story develops.