NASA launched a spacecraft on Wednesday meant to crash. It’s the space agency’s first test of a new system that administrators hope will allow them to nudge an asteroid bound for Earth off of its course. It’s an idea that seems ripped from the movie Armageddon. That’s why NASA invited Bruce Willis, star of the movie, to the launch.
NASA administrator Bill Nelson said they “didn’t want to miss the connection” between the movie and the Double Asteroid Redirection Test. But Bruce Willis turned down the invite, though.
Twitter didn’t want to miss out on the connection either. The invite sparked a deluge of jokes.
It’s important to note, however, that this really isn’t like Armageddon. NASA won’t call upon an oil-rigging crew to blow up an asteroid with a nuclear weapon.
“The idea of a kinetic impactor is definitely not like [the movie] Armageddon, where you go up at the last hour and you know, save the Earth,” Johns Hopkins planetary scientist and DART team member Nancy Chabot said. “This is something that you would do five, 10, 15, 20 years in advance — gently nudge the asteroid so it just sails merrily on its way and doesn’t impact the Earth.”
Michael Strahan Space-bound in Next Blue Origins Flight
Michael Strahan will climb aboard the next Blue Origin rocket and blast off into space. The NFL Hall of Famer and Good Morning America co-host said he’ll be on the next launch on Dec. 9. Strahan will begin his training for the trip next week in Texas with his — for lack of a better word — rocket makes. Space pals?
Strahan says ready for lift-off.
“I want to go to space,” he told ABC News. “I think being there at the first launch, it really was mind-blowing.”
While the industry has received criticism, space tourism seems to be the next frontier. Strahan said he’s hopeful for what the industry could create in the future.
“I believe that this is the way of being innovative, creative, pioneers in aviation, now space travel,” Strahan said. “And it’s going to take a while but I do believe that it will bring a lot of technological breakthroughs and also innovations to us here on Earth, and I just want to be a part of it.”
Strahan will be the second entertainment celebrity to slip the surly bonds of Earth. Star Trek star William Shatner went into space last month aboard a Blue Origin flight. Shatner said the experience changed him.
“I wish I had better news and more entertainment and jokes to tell you, but I was moved to tears by what I saw,” Shanter told CNN. “And I come back filled with … overwhelmed by sadness and empathy for this beautiful thing we call Earth.”