A team from NASA’s Langley Research Center, led by Clint Cragg, helped design the escape pod to rescue 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,300 feet below the surface since August 5.
“Putting teams together and getting the best talent from across the agency, that’s what we’re pretty good at.” Clint Cragg
Chilean officials turned to NASA for expertise in dealing with humans who live and work in confined spaces (though Space Station is now the size of a five bedroom house with two bathrooms, a gym, and office/lab space). Not too shabby.
Clint, along with NASA doctors Michael Duncan and J.D. Polk, and psychologist Al Holland, met with officials in Chile to consider options. Back at home, Clint pulled together a tiger team to look at extraction capsule designs, which contributed to the final design.
I have to say: watching the miners lifted to safety, one by one, on their journey to family and fresh air, feels like a testament to the Gene Kranz “Failure in Not an Option” mentality that the Apollo 13 movie made famous.
The human spirit is infinitely resourceful.
I think NASA embodies the limitless nature of what we can accomplish if we bring the right minds and attitudes to the table. We solve problems…against all odds. Today, we see evidence that we not only tackle challenges off the planet, but below the surface as well. How cool is that?
Bravo Clint and NASA team. You guys ROCKet!
And welcome back to the land of sunshine, miners of Chile. Breathe deeply. Today is a new day!
WKYT News: October 12, 2010
iStock Analyst: October 12, 2010
Space Coalition: October 10, 2010
Daily Press: October 10, 2010
AOLNews: October 10, 2010
NASA.gov: September 22, 2010
NASA.gov: September 9, 2010