WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) — Chile says it is seeking advice from NASA on how to keep 33 trapped Chilean miners mentally and physically healthy for the months it may take to rescue them.
The U.S. space agency, with long experience training astronauts to handle the isolation of long International Space Station missions, is discussing survival tips with Chilean officials who have been communicating with the miners trapped 2,300 feet underground, SPACE.com reported Wednesday.
“We received a request from the Chilean government about advice related to our life science research,” John Yembrick, a NASA spokesman, said.
“Right now, we’re still waiting to find out what specific questions they have for us, and how best we can assist,” Yembrick said.
Chilean officials have confirmed it could take up to four months to reach the trapped miners.
On Sunday rescuers were able to drill a 6-inch-wide tunnel to the underground chamber where the miners took refuge when the mine collapsed.
Drilling a 2-foot-wide rescue tunnel through the thousands of feet of solid rock could take up to four months, officials said.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.