WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) — Astronauts living on the International Space Station have offered words of praise and pride to the 33 miners rescued from a mine in Chile after 69 days.
The remarks were delivered by station commander Douglas Wheelock Wednesday as the miners were hoisted one by one out of the collapsed mine, SPACE.com reported.
“From outer space, we just wanted to let you know how proud we are of you, and how much we admire your courage and your tenacity,” Wheelock said.
Wheelock is one of six astronauts on the station — three American and three Russian — who expect to spend six months living in space.
“We want to congratulate all the miners for their perseverance, and their faith in their friends and their co-workers that were struggling so many days and so many nights to get them back to safety,” Wheelock said.
NASA sent two medical doctors, a psychologist and an engineer to aid the rescue effort at the San Jose Mine.
They drew on NASA’s experience with long-duration space station missions to suggest ways to keep the miners healthy and in good mental health as they awaited rescue.
“Godspeed to everyone,” Wheelock said. “It’s truly an answer to prayer. You’ve been in our thoughts these last several months and several weeks, and congratulations.”
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