armageddon asteroid earth nasa spaceship

Armageddon (1998)

A comet blasts through the asteroid belt, sending debris and an asteroid the size of Texas towards the earth. It all goes unnoticed until a team of astronauts is ripped to shreds by the debris and large meteoroids rain down on New York City. A team of experts decides the best way to save Earth is by drilling into the asteroid and exploding it with a nuclear device.

After deciding on a plan, the team of experts concludes it’s easier to train oil drillers to spacewalk than it is to teach astronauts to drill. They hire Harry Stamper and his team.

They spend a little over two weeks training, while NASA modifies two highly sophisticated and durable landers to drill over 800 feet into the core of the asteroid. Two crews launch into space and meet a Russian cosmonaut when they dock with Mir to resupply. After a minor hiccup, the crews head for the asteroid.

On approach, crew team Independence gets wrecked as it flies through debris and crashes onto the surface of the asteroid. Crew team Freedom lands safely, albeit 26 miles from its intended destination. We soon find out A.J., Bear, and Lev (the cosmonaut) survived the Independence crash. The President decides to activate the nuclear warhead aboard the Freedom for some reason.

Harry and his team disable the nuclear warhead. A.J. and company launch over a canyon using one of the landers. Rockhound uses the mounted gatling gun to destroy the Freedom driller. So ends Act II.

ACT III

A.J.’s team shows up just in time to continue the hole Harry’s team started.

Pause: Why was an automatic, remote-operated machine gun launched with the team?

According to the DVD extras, it was a last minute addition by NASA. They added it so the nearly indestructible driller could shoot and destroy any spikes of rock or ice that prevented it from traversing the asteroid. Makes much more sense to attach a gun than a bulldozer scoop.

With all of A.J.’s previous experience of drilling on Earth, what information does he have that tells him it’s okay to continue drilling into the explosive methane pocket on an unmapped area of an asteroid of little-known geology?

He knows what he’s doin’. Just trust him.

Why are they scrambling to take off?

They were all too choked up about sending A.J. to die they forgot about preparing to leave the asteroid.

They had video communication this whole time?

Yeah, they were saving it in case one of the crew members needed to make an emotional good-bye to his random family member hanging out at Houston Mission Control.

So that estranged mother+son combo are willing to brush that restraining order under the rug because Chick is now a famous astronaut?

Fame does strange things to people’s brains.

If you have any other questions about Armageddon, leave them below.

~Phil

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