Space-Based Sanity: NASA to Give Tips to Trapped Miners

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REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

They’re stuck alone, in the dark, in a tight, cramped space for perhaps as long another four months. The 33 trapped Chilean miners might have become unwitting terranauts, but now they’re going to get a hand from the U.S. space program.

A NASA spokesman told the Chilean government requested assistance on how to keep the miners sane and in-shape while a lengthy rescue operation gets underway. The miners are currently 2,300 feet underground, sharing a space no bigger than a living room and subsisting on meager food supplies.

“Right now, we’re still waiting to find out what specific questions they have for us, and how best we can assist,” NASA spokesman John Yembrick told

The miners have already been trapped nearly a full month. The mine collapse occurred Aug. 5, and officials were unsure whether there were even any survivors until a small tunnel reached their underground refuge earlier this week. (via