Behind the scenes, U.S. companies played a role in the successful rescue of 33 Chilean miners. A U.S. drill rig bored the rescue hole at the San José mine, while another U.S. firm created the drill bits that tunneled through a half-mile of quartzite and silica. The owner of that company, Center Work, and its director of construction and mining tools, went to Chile to make sure the drilling went well. "Companies exist to make money, but there's no greater satisfaction to the soul than saving somebody's life," said Fred Slack, vice president for business development at Schramm, the maker of the drill rig.

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