It was the largest meteorite to hit Earth in a century. The descent of the meteorcaused a series of shock waves that shattered windows, damaged thousands buildings and left 1,500 people injured.
After the initial explosion in the sky, two larger chunks of rock survived and continued plunging through the atmosphere. One of them broke apart at an altitude of about 18 kilometres, the other sailed on to eventually land in Lake Chebarkul, leaving a 7-metre-wide hole in the ice. The latter fragment was recovered by the Aleut ltd. divers in October 2013.
It was a difficult operation. Many scientists in the comments of the media doubted the possibility of doing such work.
In February-June 2013, the Russian public services tried to search and ascend the meteorite fragment. Divers of the Armed Forces, the Navy and the Russian Emergencies Ministry worked unsuccessfully on the lake.
After unsuccessful attempts, it was decided to set the task for industrial divers.
The depth of Lake Chebarkul Lake is 10-18 meters, then a layer of viscous silt begins another 10-15 meters thick. When falling, a meteorite fragment broke through the ice and plunged to a rocky bottom under a layer of silt.
When diving, the bottom was sucked by a diver. According to the testimony of the first attempts by divers of the Ministry of Emergencies, the first one who examined the place of fall was hardly able to tear it from the bottom and raise it to the surface.
There is no navigation on the lake, except for small fishing boats there are no ships. The lake is the only source of drinking water for the nearby town.
When the ice melted in the spring, the location of the lane from the meteorite was lost.
The tasks were set:
- find the point of fall,
- make a 3D model of the object lying under the sludge layer
- get the indicated object without muddy lake water
- it is forbidden to land ashore and install equipment on the shores of the lake (this is the territory of a specially protected natural zone)
Search and recovery work lasted 50 days.
At the end of the work, the book "Search and rise of the Chelyabinsk meteorite" was written and published.
The Russian version is available for download.
An English translation will be released shortly.