The world's a sucker for trapped-in-a-mine stories ("trapped in a well" works, too), so it's no surprise that a ton of people are following the rescue of those Chilean minors.
NASA, which can use all the budget support it can get, wants everyone to know that they played a big role in the rescue, and a Houston guy led the team.
"In a statement, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said he wanted "to express my personal thanks to the Americans who have assisted in this heroic effort, and specifically the NASA team that traveled to Chile in the early days of the crisis."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The NASA team, led by Houston's Michael Duncan, a medical officer at the Johnson Space Center, used lessons learned from lengthy space missions to help the miners cope with the crowded conditions, both physically and psychologically.
"For decades, the people of this agency have learned to live, work, and survive in the hostile environment of space," Bolden said. "Our expertise in maintaining physiological and psychological health, and our technical and engineering experience in spacecraft design all proved to be valuable in a situation that is far from our traditional scope of work."
Bolden made sure to give credit elsewhere, too:
"There is a lot of hard work ahead for rescuers, but the Chilean government and the people of that great nation should be praised for their steadfast determination. Their unwavering commitment is the reason we are witness to the joyful and emotional reunions today as the miners are returned to the surface one-by-one," he said.