Monday, August 16, 2010

Geological Movie Review of Armageddon - Part 7

Some of the events or items in the movie I am not going to get too in depth about. These include the use of civilians in space or the drill that they plan on using. For the first part, civilians in space, this is a planet-wide emergency and anything they have to do they will do I feel. Also, I agree with the fact that it would be easier to put an amateur in space to drill the rock on short notice then to teach an astronaut how to use the drill in an efficient manner. For the second part I know almost nothing about drills so I am not going to insult someone more knowledgeable than myself with my self musings. But some of the things I am going to describe include the technology that is used in the movie. They unveil several cool new tools that do or do not currently exist. These include new space suits, a new shuttle, and the "Armadillo" asteroid car.

- The Freedom and the Independence -
0:39:09 - The shuttle used in the movie is called the X-71, which was a top secret joint venture with the Air Force. So if these things truly do exist I doubt I would be able to find info about them on the internet. The ship is covered in a titanium alloy causing it to be impenetrable. So when they are flying at the giant hunk of rock, which happens to be surrounded by hunks of rock, they don't get Swiss cheesed like the last shuttle. In real life though, only the hydrogen tanks are currently formed with the titanium alloy (NASA) as well as some other parts including the some of the rotating engine components (KeytoMetals). The image to the right is some rutile, which is the principle titanium ore mineral. So I do not see a big deal with them eventually designing an entire shuttle out of the stuff. Knowing the secrecy that our government displays, especially about its technology, it is possible that this type of spaceship even exists today.

- Armadillo -
0:40:07 - The vehicle that they are using on the asteroid they call the "Armadillo". They don't really go into much detail on what it is capable of other than it will have a drilling arm attached to each one during the mission and it can do 800 turbo horses in zero gravity. The Armadillo is based off the original Lunar Roving Vehicle (pictured left) which was developed by Boeing and NASA to drive on the moon (Smithsonian). Essentially, I don't see much wrong with this in the movie either. All the technology is available to produce this thing today. My only problem is that all space equipment is made with the lowest mass possible, since they have to get the equipment into space. So I don't understand why they would let people who had no clue what the individual parts on the vehicle were for, to strip the vehicle down.

- Super Space Suits -
0:42:07 - The suits that they are wearing are also just improvements on what is currently in use. They contain direction accelerant thrusters, which helps direct the astronaut and keep them on the ground. This is ideal, since the gravity is close to nonexistent on an object that small. Currently, space suits do contain hand held thrusters for work on satellites and space shuttles so a little more development into a "rocket pack" should not be terribly difficult (NASA).

- Mission Briefing -
0:43:10 - Ok, the demonstration of what the mission will entail was laughable. The multibillion dollar government agency uses two shuttles on sticks. That was just a joke from the movie producers, or at least I hope it was, and I will consider that it is. Other than that the mission entails flying to the space station, refueling, then being slingshot around the moon to land on the backside of the asteroid.  

He then goes on to describe that life on the asteroid consists of temperatures of 200o in the sunlight and -200o in the shade, gravity anomalies, and random eruptions of gas. When discussing the temperature of the asteroid, he is actually correct. If we base the temperature on what it would be like on the moon, since neither have an atmosphere and both are the same distance away from the sun, then the temperature in the sunlight is going to be around 212oF while the temperature at night, or in the shade if you will, will be -233oF. So in other words really really hot or really really cold. The other things that are stated about the asteroid, I will go into depth a little later.

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