Humans have dreamt of of drilling to the center of the Earth for over a century, but the fact of the matter is, we haven’t made it past the crust. An ambitious new scientific expedition hopes to change that.
If you're currently living on our pale blue dot, you should thank it for becoming inhabitable for us human folk. Specifically, you should look down and thank its mantle because scientists are saying that Earth's cooler mantle allowed it to develop oxygen. You know, that thing we breathe to live.
The Chikyu research vessel is already the world's deepest drill, probing nearly 23,000 feet beneath the ocean floor. But scientists hope to add another mile to the machine by 2013, allowing it to pierce Earth's mantle for the first time.