Continuing my line of thought from here: Could you cool the earth's mantle and then bore into it? You cannot bore into the mantle by cooling it as you go because the pressure would crush your little shell of cooled rock. (As explained by the accepted answer)

Could you mine down to the maximum depth possible using the original method, and then start pushing through a pipe into the core. (like a straw that sucks from the bottom of the glass) The pressure would be equal inside and out and would push the magma up the pipe to the surface like a volcano of valuable minerals.

  • How hot is the earth's core?
  • Are there any heat resistant materials up to the task?
  • How can you prevent magma from shooting up the outside of your pipe?
  • Or is there some other plausible way to access the core?
  • $\begingroup$ Why, though? What do you think you'd get that you can't get more easily from traditional mines? $\endgroup$ – GrandmasterB Aug 19 '15 at 4:32
  • $\begingroup$ Well if his world has depletet the traditional mines $\endgroup$ – Magic-Mouse Aug 19 '15 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ well, ofcourse you would get more metal than with traditional mines. The core of the earth is pure metal, right? Like, image a marble with a diameter the width of a country, and its made from a mixture of iron, gold, silver, uranium, etc. That's if its possible.... $\endgroup$ – Lorry Laurence mcLarry Aug 19 '15 at 5:34
  • $\begingroup$ @LorryLaurencemcLarry the core is mostly iron, which is plentiful on the surface. So while, sure, you can dig down into the core to get at it, there's not much of a reason to do so. $\endgroup$ – GrandmasterB Aug 19 '15 at 6:26
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    $\begingroup$ Your first 2 questions are painfully obvious google questions. $\endgroup$ – Hackworth Aug 19 '15 at 9:59

The idea of a hole or pipe won't work, and would not be the approach taken.

You need something like a living taproot, a solid object. Nanotechnology is similar to "living" and even more in this case as it grows on its own.

The structure includes information channels to the surface, so it can be monitored and programmed. As the depth increases, the composition changes to be something suitable for that temperature and pressure. Material can be passed up and down, so needed elements can be transported tomthe growing tip and to any point for repair.

The material transport is not a "pipe", but a bucket brigade of solid molecules that can pass the atoms along. Some zones might use liquid-filled vessels.

Actually the root doesn't need to be a solid structure as we understand it. It could be a diffuse swarm of nanomachines in the mantle.

In any case, this would be done as a scientific probe and "because it's there". A source of iron is easily available in the asteroid belt. This project would consume resources, not provide them.


Sure. Take the planet apart layer by layer. Eventually you'll get to the core. You'll have to be well on the way to being a K2 civilization to meet the energy requirements. I'm finding conflicting values for the Earth's gravitational binding energy and the solar output, I'm finding values from 4 hours to 6 days of the sun's total output.

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    $\begingroup$ Are you referring to Globus Cassus? $\endgroup$ – David Cary May 31 '16 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidCary I wasn't talking about building any specific thing with it, just the dismantling part. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel May 31 '16 at 6:04

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