On August 5, 2010, the San José copper-gold mine near Copiapó, Chile collapsed, leaving 33 men trapped over 2,000 feet below ground. Sixty-nine days later (a record period of time for surviving underground), all 33 of the miners were rescued.

U.S. engineers from NASA and the Chilean Navy formed an international effort to design the rescue capsule - a bullet-shaped steel vessel 21 inches in diameter that raised the miners one by one up an escape shaft barely wider than an average man's shoulders.

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Clifford Ho is one young engineer paving the way to sustainable energy solutions.


Ho works for Sandia National Laboratories and investigates ways to capture and store solar energy for utility-scale electricity production using concentration solar power. He works closely with the Department of Energy to improve the performance and lower the costs of solar energy systems.

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