NASA Crashed A Spacecraft Into An Asteroid On Purpose, And It Got A Lot Of People Thinking Of Bruce Willis In ‘Armageddon’

Sometimes life imitates art, but it doesn’t usually imitate Michael Bay movies. On Monday, NASA successfully — and intentionally — crashed a small spacecraft into a larger (but still small) asteroid innocently floating not far from Earth. Why? More on that in a bit. But if that sounds not a little unlike the premise of 1998’s biggest movie moneymaker, Armageddona movie that scientists say really isn’t accurateyou weren’t the only one. The event not only drew a lot of attention — it also got the name of the film’s star trending.

As per The New York Times, last year NASA launched into orbit what they called a Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft, or a DART. Its mission? To collide with Dimorphos, a small asteroid that is part of a bigger space rock called Didymos.

Dimorphos posed no immediate threat to our planet. But that was why it was so perfect to hit. The intention behind the DART mission was to check if one proposed way to stop an asteroid from hitting Earth could be to hit it with a projectile and elbow it into a different orbit. And that’s exactly what happened.

In other words, NASA found a good way to stop an asteroid due for Earth. You know what’s probably not a great way to do that? Doing what they did in Armageddon and blow it up (with the help of a bunch of blue-collar oil drillers who’ve never set foot in a spacecraft much less been to outer space, of course). Still, it was close enough that it got “Bruce Willis,” who played the leader of said space-bound oil-drillers, trending. Even NPR got in on the joke.

As did others.

There were even jokes about how another Bruce Willis movie — The Siege, about martial law being declared in NYC — almost came true during the protest-heavy summer of 2020.

The news comes mere months after it was revealed that Willis had to retire from acting due to being diagnosed with a rare brain disorder called aphasia, which affects one’s ability to communicate.

(Via NYT)