Japanese scientists to drill in to the mantle
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The aim will be to drill all the way down through the Earth's crust for the first time in history.

It's not quite 'Journey to the Center of the Earth', but if Japan's Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) succeeds in its goals it will mean that, for the first time since efforts began more than 50 years ago, humans will have succeeded in reaching the planet's mantle - a silicate rocky shell which sits between the Earth's crust and the outer core.

The most recent attempt to reach the mantle, which was carried out by the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling, ultimately only managed to drill down 700 meters - a mere fraction of the total thickness of the crust which is believed to be around 35 kilometers.

The JAMSTEC team will be using the Chikyu drilling ship for their attempt however they are unlikely to start drilling until 2030, instead opting to conduct a series of preliminary studies beforehand.

Their ultimate goal will be to collect samples from the mantle and bring them up for further study.