On Wednesday morning, NASA launched a particularly cool space mission. Code-named DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), the project will fire a rocket at the asteroid Dimorphos, hoping to alter its trajectory. The idea is that if Earth was ever threatened by a ‘planet killer’ asteroid, plans like this could be humanity’s last line of defense.
If you’ve seen Michael Bay’s Armageddon this is all going to sound very familiar. The 1998 movie saw Earth in similar peril, with NASA resorting to sending a ragtag drilling crew into space to blow up the asteroid. That’s not quite what’s happening here, but the basic concept is the same.
Bay spoke with TheWrap about the similarities and sounds pleased that he predicted a lot of this:
“Our plan was not far off where they send a craft to nudge it, either with a nuke or whatever, they just have to nudge it. They had a bunch of stuff we mentioned in the movie that were real plans that are on the table.”
He also underlined the danger these asteroids could represent:
“Thank God they’re doing something because these things (asteroids), they’re lethal. They come in 24,000 miles an hour, if I remember correctly — it’s an airburst to the ground.”
Fortunately, Bruce Willis is not aboard NASA’s rocket, and we should know sometime next year whether they hit the target.
But, as many have pointed out online, perhaps this ‘test’ mission is just a way to cover up the fact that Dimorphos is barreling straight for Earth, and we need to stop it before it kills us all. After all, publically announcing the Earth is in its sights would just create mass panic and global fear. Better make sure Aerosmith and Ben Affleck keep their schedules free for the next few months…
Armageddon is available to stream on DirecTV and to digitally rent from all the usual places.