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This Happened

This Happened — October 13: Chile Mining Rescue

On this day in 2010, the Copiapó mining accident in Chile comes to a happy end as all 33 miners arrive at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground.

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What was the 2010 Copiapó mining accident?

The 2010 Copiapó mining accident, also known as the "Chilean mining accident," was a mining disaster that occurred on August 5, 2010, when a gold and copper mine near Copiapó, Chile, collapsed, trapping 33 miners underground. The accident occurred when a cave-in blocked the mine's main access ramp, leaving the miners trapped approximately 2,300 feet (700 meters) underground. The cause of the cave-in was attributed to a combination of geological factors and poor safety practices at the mine.

How were the miners rescued in Chile?

The rescue operation was a complex and internationally coordinated effort. A specially designed capsule called the "Phoenix" was used to lift each miner to the surface one at a time through a narrow borehole.

What were the conditions like for the trapped miners in Chile?

The miners faced extremely challenging conditions underground, including limited food supplies, high temperatures, and psychological stress. They had to ration their available resources to survive until rescue efforts could reach them. After their rescue, the miners underwent thorough medical evaluations and treatment. While they were generally in good health, they experienced various physical and psychological issues as a result of their ordeal. Some suffered from skin and eye infections, while others experienced anxiety and post-traumatic stress.

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Future

AI And War: Inside The Pentagon's $1.8 Billion Bet On Artificial Intelligence

Putting the latest AI breakthroughs at the service of national security raises major practical and ethical questions for the Pentagon.

Photo of a drone on the tarmac during a military exercise near Vícenice, in the Czech Republic

Drone on the tarmac during a military exercise near Vícenice, in the Czech Republic

Sarah Scoles

Number 4 Hamilton Place is a be-columned building in central London, home to the Royal Aeronautical Society and four floors of event space. In May, the early 20th-century Edwardian townhouse hosted a decidedly more modern meeting: Defense officials, contractors, and academics from around the world gathered to discuss the future of military air and space technology.

Things soon went awry. At that conference, Tucker Hamilton, chief of AI test and operations for the United States Air Force, seemed to describe a disturbing simulation in which an AI-enabled drone had been tasked with taking down missile sites. But when a human operator started interfering with that objective, he said, the drone killed its operator, and cut the communications system.

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