How the Deepest Drill in the World Works

The Chikyu research vessel is a ship with a drill that can reach deeper under the earth's surface than any other drill system in the world. At a cost of $540 million, it's capable of reaching 2,890 23,000 feet below the seabed. Popular Science has an overview of how it works:

In 2007, off the coast of Japan, it became the first mission to study subduction zones, the area between tectonic plates that is the birthplace of many earthquakes. Over the next three years, scientists will tack on at least an extra mile of drill and attempt the most ambitious mission ever: piercing the Earth’s mantle. There, scientists expect to find the same conditions as those in the early Earth—and perhaps the same life-forms that thrived then. | Image: Coherent Images

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Popular Science is disappointingly low-brow. Yes, there's clearly a typo in the distance drilled. But beyond that, there is very little information on *how* they're doing this.
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@Oscar G: Yeah, 2900ft is cool, and would have been impossible a century ago, but today it *is* nothing, because we're capable of drilling much, much deeper. 2890ft is an order of magnitude short of reaching "deeper under the earth’s surface than any other drill system in the world." Whataclevernameihave is right.
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2,890 ft of drilling is nothing you say. That's not what your mom said when her subduction zones were perforated repeatedly

man some people are never impressed by anything
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The depth below seafloor is off by at least a factor of 10. 2,890 ft is nothing.

Here's a link to a story about perforating at more than 20,000 ft below seafloor in more than 7,000 ft of water:
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