Aug 16, 2018

What "Armageddon" got right about space drilling, and what it (mostly) didn’t

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This summer, Marketplace Tech is exploring tech in movies. Today, we’re looking at the Bruce Willis classic “Armageddon,” which was the highest-grossing film of 1998. Willis’ character, Harry Stamper, is a "deep core" oil driller sent into space to…

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What "Armageddon" got right about space drilling, and what it (mostly) didn't

Aug 16, 2018
Little about the 1998 blockbuster is true to life, but mining asteroids and comets is "humanity’s future, I’m pretty convinced of that," one expert says.
From left, Steve Buscemi, Will Patton, Bruce Willis, Michael Duncan, Ben Affleck, and Owen Wilson are on a mission to save Earth from an asteroid in “Armageddon.”
Getty Images/Handout

This summer, Marketplace Tech is exploring tech in movies. Today, we’re looking at the Bruce Willis classic “Armageddon,” which was the highest-grossing film of 1998. Willis’ character, Harry Stamper, is a “deep core” oil driller sent into space to drill a hole and drop a bomb in an asteroid hurtling toward Earth. We meet Harry on an offshore oil rig, managing a surly crew, with oil flying everywhere. It’s a depiction of oil-drilling life that has stuck with the public, but has very little to do with reality. Eric van Oort, a professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Texas, talked to us about the space drilling technology in “Armageddon.” (08/16/18)

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