Chile mine rescue efforts under way: something like space travel

(Credit: Hugo Infante/Government of Chile)

Like millions around the world, I'm currently following the live tweets, more live tweets, live blog and television coverage of attempts to pull up the stranded miners in Chile.

At left, we see the rescue capsule carrying rescue worker Manuel Gonzalez arriving in the miners' refuge, half a mile under the earth's surface. Gonzales carried a communications device to transmit back up to the surface.

VIDEO: Here's CNN's live stream. Here's the CBS News live stream. Here is a Chilean TV network's stream. And here's the BBC's.

With all the talk of tiny capsules, oxygen masks, and extreme psychological transitions, I keep thinking how much this phase of the rescue effort reminds me of astronauts' accounts of space travel. Those of you who, like me, are watching it live: aren't you reminded of Buzz and Neil landing on the moon?

I can't imagine what it's like for the trapped miners, but man, what must be going on in the mind of the paramedics/rescuers they're sending down into the mine? What kind of absolute unshakeable strength must someone have to enter that tiny rescue shaft to drop half a mile down towards the center of Earth? Whatever it is, I don't think I have that stuff within me.

Your thoughts welcome in the comments. (via Submitterator, thanks pjk)