Russians Approach Pristine Antarctic Lake

National Science Foundation

Russian scientists drilling toward Lake Vostok, an enormous body of fresh water sealed off beneath Antarctic ice for 35 million years, have until Sunday to reach their goal before flying out at the end of the summer field season, NPR reports. But with less than 30 meters to go, it's looking like they'll fall short and have to resume months later. "They didn't get to the moon first; they really, really want to be the first people to drill into a subglacial lake. And they want to do it right," geoscientist Robin Bell of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, told NPR.