Michael Bay’s 1998 “Armageddon” may have been a critical flop, but the space disaster movie has proven to be prescient as far as astronomy is concerned. Director Bay took to social media this week to tip his hat to NASA, which just launched a 1,200-pound spacecraft into the cosmos to try and slam into an asteroid to stop its path next year. Per the filmmaker, his film almost seemed to predict this very event, as the movie centers on a team of oil drillers and NASA workers who set out to detonate a nuclear bomb in an asteroid.
“I told you so. But no one wanted to listen to me. NASA’s DART rocket lifted off today! It’s going to do a little BAYHEM in space!” wrote Bay, whose next film is February’s “Ambulance” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, on Instagram. (See the post below.)
He also told TheWrap, “Our plan was not far off,” said Bay, nodding to how in “Armageddon,” scientists use a spacecraft as a planetary-scale defense system to stop an (albeit much larger) asteroid from colliding with the Earth. “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.”
A key difference, however, is that NASA is sending its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket into space unmanned to destroy the small asteroid known as Dimorphos at 15,000 miles per hour. The goal is for the spacecraft to hit the asteroid sometime next year.
NASA’s “not sending in an oil-drilling team, but 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,” Bay said. “They had a bunch of stuff we mentioned in the movie that were real plans that are on the table.”
He said that while “Armaggedon” didn’t exactly inspire NASA’s DART mission, he does feel the film brought awareness to possible threats from outer space. “It just makes the world aware that there is a big effin’ problem that we might have one day so it’s better to get our asses in gear now and practice for what can be a very serious situation,” he said. “It’s great that they’re trying something.”
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