Chile's Rescue Formula: '75% Science, 25% Miracle'

Thursday - 10/14/2010, 5:11pm EDT

NASA played an integral role in the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile.

NASA had input on the rescue capsule that brought the men home.

"It was 75% engineering and 25% a miracle," said topographer Macarena Valdes in an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Rescuers supplied the trapped men with provisions through a five-inch-diameter shaft with essentials such as bottled water, camping cots and chest straps to monitor their health.

According to WSJ, "The lifeline gave rise to a high-technology life underground. The men wore clothing made with a bacteria-killing copper fiber, watched movies on a projector built into a cellphone, and communicated with rescuers over an ultra-flexible fiber-optic cable that maintains transmission capacity while twisting through rocky crags deep below ground."

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