Colloquium: January 11, 2011

Chilean Miners’ Rescue, NASA Plays a Part

by Clinton H. Cragg

TUESDAY: January 11, 2011 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium


On August 5, 2010, the San Jose Mine in northern Chile collapsed trapping 33 miners. Seventeen days later, all of the miners were found to be alive and the Government of Chile asked for assistance from NASA. This lecture will discuss NASA’s site visit, the situation at the mine at the time, and assistance NASA provided.


Clinton H. CraggClint Cragg, upon graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978, entered the submarine and naval nuclear power training program. His first submarine assignment was the USS Sand Lance, which at the time was undergoing a major engineering overhaul in Bremerton, Washington. In 1984, he was assigned as the Assistant Engineer on board the USS Trepang, then home-ported in New London, Connecticut. Later, as the Ship’s Engineer on the USS Alabama, he supervised a department composed of 6 divisions and was directly responsible for the maintenance, operation and safety of the ship’s S8G nuclear reactor. In 1990, he reported to his first shore tour at the Naval War College where he earned M.A. degrees in Strategic Studies and International Relations. In his next assignment as the Executive Officer of the USS Tunny, he prepared the ship and crew for four separate overseas deployments. Selected for command, Clint took over as the Commanding Officer of USS Ohio in October of 1996. After completing four strategic deterrent patrols, he was assigned as the Chief of Current Operations, US European Command. While in Europe he participated in a number of operations, which included the wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In 2003, he joined NASA as a founding member of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC). Assigned as a Principal Engineer, he leads teams of engineers to solve some of NASA’s toughest challenges.