The age of exploration on our planet, which many assumed had come to an end, seems to have found a new lease of life. Last week, a small fleet – which comprised a scientific research vessel, two mini-submarines and a nuclear ice breaker – set sail from the Russian port of Murmansk. After the ice breaker carved a 125-metre by 10-metre opening in the thick pack ice near the North Pole, the two submarines descended into the freezing waters. Yesterday, one of those submarines planted a Russian flag, in a metal capsule, on the seabed two and a half miles below the Pole. The Russians are comparing the achievement to that of man walking on the moon for the first time.
In terms of audacity and technical skill, it may bear comparison with the 1969 moon landing….