Boy In The Well

This story seems to be “boy in the well” on steroids. It’s amazing how much press coverage it’s getting. There are going to be a lot of books coming out of it.

[Update a while later]

The president praises America and Americans:

“The tears they shed after so much time apart expressed not only their own relief, not only their own joy, but the joy of people everywhere,” Mr. Obama continued. “From the NASA team that helped design the escape vehicle to American companies that manufactured and delivered parts of the rescue drill to the American engineer who flew in from Afghanistan to operate the drill.”

It happens so rarely, I feel compelled to note, and encourage it.

30 thoughts on “Boy In The Well”

  1. It’s amazing how much press coverage it’s getting.

    How often does a mainstream media organization get to cover a genuinely good news story — particularly one with a heroic human interest angle, unprecedented use of technology, international cooperation, a fairly predictable time frame, and hope of improvements in safety in one of the most dangerous occupations? Not often.

  2. I’ve followed the story with interest since they learned the trapped miners were still alive. It’s an amazing survival story and a welcome break from politics. There were US drillers operating the machinery that dug the hole and a lot of hard work by the Chilean government and rescue workers. It’s a real feel-good story in an age when “if it bleeds, it leads” journalism. Chile has good reason to feel pride in this story.

  3. This story is a real celebration of good old American ingenuity!

    Wait, what? American? Yup… Though the current administration would dearly love the word to ignore it, they rescue hole was dug by a Colorado driller, Jeff Hart, who got the hole in place far faster than anyone else could have. (that’s why his was by far the first of the three large-bore holes).

    But Obama? Celebrate a driller? Or American ingenuity and know how? Yeah, right…

  4. Arizona CJ,

    And don’t forget that NASA designed the rescue capsule they are using.

    To Design Miners’ Escape Pod, NASA Thought Small

    [[[Cragg returned to his office at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia and assembled about 20 NASA engineers to come up with a design. Using the same practices used in designing spacecraft, the group took three days to compile a list of 75 elements.]]]

    Which shows what NASA is able to do when not hobbled by politics and/or special interests 🙂

  5. Which shows what NASA is able to do when not hobbled by politics and/or special interests

    A different way of saying that is that it shows what NASA employees can do when it’s important.

  6. Or when they don’t have Administrators playing “chief engineer”, Congressional Committees or New Space lobbyists telling them what the solution is before they even start working the problem 🙂

  7. There’s a book already written—A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke. Eerily similar. Holds up pretty well for 1961 fiction.

  8. Thomas, you have it backwards. They were given what the solution was, they were only asked about how to implement it. That difference speaks volumes about the mindset there…

  9. American ingenuity and practical know-how remains astonishing, even in a supporting, charity role.

    I’m fairly certain that if you gathered together every guy on an average American street or cul-de-sac and gave them an urgent timeline and some money, they could solve a huge amount of the engineering problems you throw at them.

  10. Scott,

    No, you are confused. The problem was returning to the Moon, the VSE.

    Administrator Griffin short circuited the process by giving them a “solution”, Constellation, then Congress, the NASA Centers and lobbyists put constraints on it, constraints which were constantly changing, to make implementation possible.

  11. I keep thinking “Half-mile barrel, wonder how well the Jules Verne method would work with that.”

    Probably fine right up until you hit the first bend in the tunnel… 🙂

  12. They’re all out safely, now, and I think it’s a great story. What could have been a tragedy is instead now only a miner inconvenience.

  13. It was a big story because of the length of time the miners spent underground. They spent longer underground than any other miners in history and they were not expecting to get rescued until Christmas.

    The Chileans did handle this quite competently, which demonstrates they are a world-class economy.

  14. The story about how these miners were rescued is something really special. I have read many times about mining accidents and you seldom see a successful rescue operation after a collapse like this one. Kudos are more than in order to the people who made this happen.

Comments are closed.