Wednesday, October 13, 2010

U.S. Technology Helps in the Rescue of the Chilean Miners

As the world watches the miners in Chile get rescued one by one and marvels at their incredible survival and teamwork since being trapped on August 5, 2010, we have to give credit to U.S. technology with Plan B Turning Out to be Fastest Path for Rescue.

According to The New York Times: “To tell you the truth, I don’t think anyone had a whole lot of faith in us,” said Brandon Fisher, president of Center Rock, a company in Berlin, Pa., that supplied the Plan B drills. “They didn’t understand the technology.”

Mr. Fisher and others lobbied the Chilean government to let them use the drills, known as downhole hammers, which have air-powered bits that pound the rock as the drill rotates. The other two drilling operations used more conventional bits that work through rotation only.

This technology was also used to drill ventilation shafts and other holes to help the 33 trapped miners, who are now being pulled out through a shaft, one by one, via a capsule, from half a mile beneath the earth.

The Chilean government and its people should also be applauded for their dedication and extraordinary efforts in this unparalleled rescue!

I wish all the trapped coal miners happy times with their families and friends and a full recovery. Both of my husband's grandfathers were coal miners in Pennsylvania and my college room-mate at Brown University was from Chile so my family has been following closely the evolving events surrounding this major news story of human endurance and the technology, faith, and support that are making this rescue possible.