In yesterday’s New York Times article, Obama Salutes Chile And Rescue, the President recalls specifically NASA’s participation in helping to rescue the Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days over 2,000 feet underground.
“Let me also commend so many people of goodwill, not only in Chile, but also from the United States and around the world, who are lending a hand in this rescue effort — from the NASA team that helped design the escape vehicle, to American companies that manufactured and delivered parts of the rescue drill, to the American engineer who flew in from Afghanistan to operate the drill.”
Speaking of NASA’s participation, The Virginian-Pilot’s Corinne Reilly wrote a feature, NASA Langley engineers helped design miners’ rescue pod, about NASA Langley’s Clint Cragg, who headed-up NASA’s efforts to assist Chile in the rescue of the 69 miners. Cragg, The Virginian-Pilot reports, has, since leaving the Navy seven years ago, worked for NASA’s Engineering and Safety Center. The program was set up after the 2003 space shuttle Columbia disaster to analyze high-risk projects. He and the team of 20 NASA engineers from Langley and other NASA centers toiled for 16 hours a day for 3 days to come up with 75 specific ideas in the design of the miners’ rescue capsule. Said Cragg of the rescue effort, “It’s a relief. The capsule is working the way we hoped it would.”