Being trapped in a confined space for an extended period of time is usually reserved as a punishment. The miners in Chile will have to deal with sharing their small, confined space with all 32 of their compatriots until rescue comes. While their situation is unique, people being trapped in small spaces for months is not new. An example? Astronauts.
Few people can speak to the kind of situation the miners are in, but former astronaut Jerry M. Linenger knows what it is to be far from direct human contact. He was the sole American on board the Russian space station Mir when it caught fire in February 1997. He explains how he survived for three-and-a-half months, and gives some suggestions as to how the miners can stay sane until their rescue.