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NASA Oral History Project: Chilean Miners Rescue

A section of a mine collapsed near the town of Copiapó, Chile, on August 5, 2010, trapping 33 miners 2,300 feet below the Earth's surface. Seventeen days passed before their location was found.

The Chilean government requested technical advice from NASA based on the agency's long experience in protecting humans in the hostile environment of space. A team of four NASA experts were on the scene from August 30 through September 5, 2010. While there, they consulted with a number of organizations in Chile, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Mining, the Chilean Navy and the Chilean Space Agency, and talked with those at the site of the mining accident.

NASA's initial support included recommendations on medical care, nutrition, and psychological support. The support was broadened to include recommendations on the design of a Chilean vehicle used to extract the miners. Consultations continued between members of the NASA team and Chilean government officials until the miners were rescued, October 13, 2010.

Related articles:

NASA Provides Assistance to Trapped Chilean Miners

NASA Engineer Helps Chilean Miners

National Security and International Affairs Medal

Condes, Albert.)

Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of International and Interagency Relations, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Cragg, Clinton H.

NASA Suggested Requirements to Chilean Government for Miner Rescue System Design, 9/10/10

Principal Engineer, NASA Engineering and Safety Center, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Duncan, J. Michael
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Space Life Sciences Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
Office of International and Interagency Relations Export Control and Interagency Liaison Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
Harris, Christopher J.
Chile Desk Officer, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
Holland, Albert W.
Senior Operational Psychologist, NASA Behavioral Health and Performance Group, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
Polk, James D.
Chief Medical Officer, Space Medicine Division,NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

More transcripts are available from the alphabetical list above or from the complete list of participants.

Please note: Links on the following pages are active once the Oral History transcript is archived in the JSC History Collection.

To view the newest additions to the JSC History Collection, visit the "What's New" announcement.

Transcript lists were last updated: Jan. 31, 2020

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