As the world’s second-largest economy explores new frontiers above and below the planet’s surface, Chinese scientists have begun drilling a 10,000-meter (32,808-foot) hole into the Earth’s crust.
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, drilling for what is expected to be China’s deepest borehole began on Tuesday in the country’s oil-rich Xinjiang region. China sent its first civilian astronaut into orbit from the Gobi Desert earlier that morning.
According to the report, the narrow tunnel into the ground would penetrate more than ten continental strata, or layers of rock, and reach the cretaceous system in the Earth’s crust, which contains materials dating back 145 million years.
“The drilling project’s construction difficulty can be compared to a big truck driving on two thin steel cables,” Sun Jinsheng, a Chinese Academy of Engineering expert, told Xinhua. In a speech to some of the country’s top scientists in 2021.
President Xi Jinping called for greater progress in deep Earth research. Such research can assist uncover mineral and energy resources, as well as analyze the hazards of natural disasters like earthquakes and volcano eruptions.