NOVA Covers U.S. Manufacturing’s Role in Chilean Miner Rescue

We’ve blogged about the critical contributions that U.S. manufacturers played in the rescue of the Chilean miners here and here. For an excellent portrayal of their role and the entire rescue operations, make sure to watch the new PBS NOVA program, “Emergency Mine Rescue.” Blurb:

This one-hour film chronicles the fate of the 33 miners trapped in a collapsed Chilean gold and copper mine in August 2010 and investigates the many challenges faced by both the miners and those working around the clock to bring them safely to the surface. NOVA was on-site at the San José mine in Chile by early September. Conferred special access, NOVA’s film crew interviewed engineers, NASA experts, medical personnel, and key figures from the companies that provided drills and crucial rescue equipment to give a more detailed scientific account of the unfolding events. The resulting film, using footage from the scene as well as advanced animation, showcases the extraordinary feats of engineering as well as the biological and geological factors inherent in the rescue. “Emergency Mine Rescue” also examines the psychological and physiological impact of this kind of prolonged ordeal on the miners and those involved in the rescue efforts.

It premiered last night and will undoubtedly repeat numerous times over the next several weeks.

Along with the human drama, the program portrays the different drilling technologies and why one inventive effort, Plan B, proposed by Brandon Fisher of Center Rock, Inc., proved successful.

PBS Newshour previewed the documentary Tuesday with a segment and an interview with Greg Hall, president of Drillers Supply International of Houston, whose company put Fisher’s plan into effect.

GREG HALL: Well, the normal way that you would drill this type of hole is using a very large percussion hammer, which has a 600-pound piston and beats very aggressively.

The problem in this is, we had men down there, and we couldn’t stand the vibration. His cluster hammer is a low-profile, low-torque, uses four or five small hammers, and so it hits very quickly, but not as aggressive, and doesn’t cause as much vibration.

More …

Leave a Reply