Relatives and officials have cheered as a rescue capsule arrived at the northern Chile mine where 33 trapped miners remain stuck half a mile underground.
The capsule, known as the Phoenix, was built by the Chilean Navy to winch the men out one by one from the hot, humid tunnel in the small copper and gold mine under the Atacama desert where they've been since August 5.
Three drills, known as Plan A, B and C, are working to open up a hole wide enough for the capsule to be used.
Officials first said the miners would be underground until Christmas, but then lowered their predictions to early November. Rumours have been circulating at the camp that they will be out sometime next month.
The miners fight for survival has captivated the attention of the Chilean nation and drawn support from foreign presidents, Pope Benedict and World Cup soccer stars.
Relatives said they are confident the miners will be back on the surface in early October, but worry about their mental health after spending weeks in the dimly-lit and hot tunnel.
Rescuers are in contact with the miners down several small ducts through which they deliver food and water, letters from relatives and even soccer videos.
The miners, who range from a former professional soccer player to a first-time miner and a Bolivian immigrant, have exchanged letters and videos with their relatives - including images of the birth of the daughter of one of them.