NASA experts to advise Chile on trapped miners’ conditions

By Dialogo
September 01, 2010

May God and Our Lady of Carmen keep them in their hands and may the professionals that are carrying out the rescue of these miners do everything in their power to get them out alive so that they can celebrate with their family when they are rescued. From Miranda, Cauca, Carlos Augusto Hernandez Haeusler. I am amazed that men that are well prepared for a catastrophe like this one, no matter what, is something very difficult to carry out and they have done so with great organization, discipline and above all with great courage and intelligence.

Four NASA experts will travel to Chile on the last week of August to advise
the government on the best strategy to maintain 33 miners trapped 700 meters
underground physically and mentally fit until they are rescued.

Two doctors, a psychologist and an engineer will make the trip to offer their
opinion on medical, nutritional, behavioral and psychological matters to help the
trapped men overcome a possible three months of confinement, reported BBC Mundo.

The Chilean government requested assistance from the U.S. space agency
experts who are used to handling challenges of human confinement in tight
spaces.
Dr. Michael Duncan, NASA’s deputy chief medical expert highlighted the
organizational capacity already shown by the miners, saying, “The miners have done a
lot for themselves underground to show the will to survive.”

Dr. Duncan added that the space agency will advise Chilean officials on what
it does to help keep astronauts in the tight quarters of the international space
station remain healthy, reported Voice of America (VOA).

The miners have been trapped in the gold and copper San Jose mine that caved
in on August 5 in Copiapo, in the remote north of Chile. But they were only found
alive almost three weeks later.

Rescuers have drilled three narrow holes to where the men are trapped, said
VOA. The holes are being used to communicate with the men and pump oxygen as well as
to provide them with food, water and other supplies, including
antidepressants.

Up to now, there had not been an event in which a human being has remained
trapped underground for many months, reported BBC Mundo.

Rescuers were expected to begin drilling a fourth hole on August 30, which
will take months and serve as the rescue hole through which the men will be pulled
out of the mine.




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