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NASA'S ASSISTANCE AND REACTION TO RECOVERY OF CHILEAN MINERS
10.13.10
 
On Aug. 31, a NASA team of experts arrived in Santiago for about a week as part of NASA's commitment to provide U.S. assistance. NASA's assistance was only a small contribution to the Chilean government's overall rescue effort.
 
The NASA team included two medical doctors, a psychologist and an engineer. Dr. Michael Duncan, deputy chief medical officer in NASA's Space Life Sciences Directorate at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, led the team. The other team members are physician J.D. Polk, psychologist Al Holland and engineer Clint Cragg.


TRT: 3:10
Dr. Michael Duncan, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Johnson Space Center
Dr. J.D. Polk, Physician, Johnson Space Center
Al Holland, Psychologist, Johnson Space Center
Clint Cragg, Engineer, Langley Research Center
Center Contacts: Bill Jeffs, 281-483-5111, JSC & Keith Henry, 757-864-6120, LaRC
HQ Contact: Stephanie Schierholz, 202-358-1100
For more info: www.nasa.gov

Dr. Michael Duncan, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Johnson Space Center  

Cut 1 - 00:38 – “The long period of confinement in a very austere environment is the parallel and there are stresses that the miners undergo in those kinds of environments that are similar to what our astronauts might undergo.  Some of the medical, physical, and psychological responses to that are quite similar.  You know our biggest …help to the Chileans in dealing with the miners and helping them through this, is indeed is the behavioral health support we provide to our astronauts and their families  and the parallel goes along with the miners and their families as well. “
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Dr. Michael Duncan, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Johnson Space Center  

Cut 2 - 00:20 “NASA’s part in this was just one small part in a very overwhelming effort by the Chilean government.   It is all about the miners, it’s all about the Chileans response, their spirit and tenacity to go after that.  We were just pleased to be a part of it.”
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Al Holland, Psychologist, Johnson Space Center

Cut 1 – 00:40 –“We provided information and guidance, regarding individual self control, and how…   what individual coping mechanisms could be encouraged by top side on the part of the miners.  Advice to give the miners, some training to give to the miners about bout how to manage themselves and the emotions and their expectations over a long period of time, in a small space.  About how to manage their relationships with other miners and for the leaders, and some key personnel, how to manage team dynamics in confinement over a long period of time.” 
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Clint Cragg, Engineer, Langley Research Center

Cut 1 – 00:18 – “When I saw the first miner being extracted last night, I was both happy and very relieved, and it appears the final design of the capsule is working just great and I am very happy about that.”
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Dr. J.D. Polk, Physician, Johnson Space Center

Cut 1 - 01:14 - “We had a preconceived notion of what things might apply from space flight to the Chilean mine, and what was surprising to us and probably to our Chilean counter parts; once we got down there and actually understood what it was the miners were going through and looked at the difficulties that the Chilean health authorities and the engineers were to attempt to tackle, was how many things we could actually translate from space flight that were over and above, well over and above what we even anticipated.  Whether it was the re-feeding plan, whether it was the fluid loading protocol that we used for the shuttle and Soyuz return, down to the requirements for- how to write specific requirements for the escape module, what things to use in the escape module, and how to guard against certain dangers or hazards in the escape module.  So it really ranged from engineering, to medical to psychological, even our processes at NASA; how we build leadership structures, or how we develop documents to instruct folks how to build certain elements- things that we’re used to in a day to day basis that we take for granted, were actually translated very well.”
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