7 Movies Featuring Earth-Threatening Asteroids

This movie is the source for most meteor-impact jokes you hear today, particularly any references about calling in Bruce Willis to save the Earth. The movie depicts Harry Stamper (Willis) and his oil rig crew (who are mostly losers who have done time in jail) being hired by NASA as astronauts. Their goal is to drill into an asteroid the size of Texas and deploy a bomb to break it into pieces, before the asteroid hits the Earth.

Meanwhile, Stamper’s daughter Grace (Liv Tyler) falls into a torrid love affair with one of Willis’ crew, A.J. (Ben Affleck). We’ll spare you the details of their overwrought discussions of love over animal crackers — but do understand that the science, plainly put, sucks. Highlights include occasional depictions of Earth-scale gravity on a tiny asteroid, watching two space shuttles take off at the same time just a few hundred feet from each other, and the most stereotypical portrayal ever of a Russian cosmonaut on then-space station Mir.

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Space, astronomy and science