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Landon Sanders
Landon Sanders

Asteroid Final Impact

A deadly meteor storm has been labeled a one-time celestial occurrence, but astrophysicist Steve Thomas believes something worse is yet to come. After discovering his asteroid tracking satellite is secretly being used for military surveillance, Steve leaks the truth to the press, and it costs him his reputation, his job, and his friends. With the backlash of being a whistle-blower, the pressure threatens to tear his family apart, just when Steve discovers a threat to the entire planet: a giant dark asteroid invisible to current detection systems will soon strike the Earth. Barred from using his own satellite to prove the asteroid's existence, Steve is forced to work in the shadows in a desperate attempt to save humanity.

Asteroid Final Impact

A deadly meteor storm was labeled a one-time celestial occurrence, but scientist Steve Thomas believes the worst is yet to come. After discovering his asteroid tracking satellite was secretly being used for military surveillance, Steve leaked the truth to the press, and it cost him his reputation, his job, and his friends. With the pressures of being a whistle-blower threatening to destroy his family, Steve discovers a threat to the entire world: a giant dark asteroid invisible to current detection systems that will soon strike the Earth. Barred from using his own satellite to prove the asteroid's existence, Steve is forced to become a fugitive while implementing a desperate plan to save humanity before it's too late.

When those with the power declare that a recent asteroid storm was a one off event Steve Thomas (Mark Lutz - Finding Christma), an astrophysicist, believes it is just a prelude to something much bigger and lot more dangerous. Unfortunately when Steve breaks protocol he finds himself out of a job, discredited and with the FBI sitting on his doorstep 24/7. Whilst this affects his family in a major way Steve is still convinced there is something bigger about to happen and has to find a way to get back in to his old lab to use a tracking satellite, which has been commandeered by the military for surveillance, to save mankind from a fate worse than death.

"It's an oldie but a goody" says Steve Thomas's brother as he sticks a bunch of bananas up the tail pipe of the FBI car sitting outside Steve's home, yes "Asteroid: Final Impact" lifts that idea from one of the "Beverly Hills Cop" movies and yes "It's an oldie but a goody". Whilst it doesn't so blatantly lift anything else from another movie "Asteroid: Final Impact" still only churns out one made for TV disaster movie cliche after another. We have the asteroid attack itself, the discredited expert having to sneak around to prove he is right, the family issues and of course the obligatory race against time to save the family, the community and maybe even the planet. Basically when you have seen one of these made for TV disaster movies you have seen them all.

Later that evening, at the National Observatory in Boulder, Colorado, Dr. Lily McKee (Annabella Sciorra), the Observatory's director, is observing a comet which is going to pass by Earth on the 4th of July. Later on, when she goes home and looks at some photos, she sees what she believes are asteroids.

The next day, she informs Jack and Adam of the possibility of an impact and calls them in. She tells them of two asteroids: Helios and Eros, whose orbits have been disrupted by the comet and may hit the Earth. Helios would hit with the force of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs and generate temperatures five times hotter than the Sun in the area of impact. Everything within a 150-mile radius would be destroyed and the impact would also spray molten rock another 70 miles.

Eros is four miles across and would cause a global ecological disaster if it did indeed hit. Then, Max Jenson (Brian Hill), one of Lily's assistants, informs Lily, Jack and Adam that Helios is getting closer to the Earth and that the observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii had picked up some smaller asteroids that the National Observatory cannot see and they believe that a small one hit Montana. Jack and Adam realize that the fire was indeed caused by an asteroid impact. Lily and Max check Helios' trajectory and realize that it will indeed hit the Earth.

Their numbers show that Helios will hit the Kansas City area within 48 hours. They inform the President and he orders that the city be evacuated. Ultimately, a fragment of Helios strikes a dam in the Kansas City area, causing flooding in the city. Wallach, who drives into the city to rescue two stranded firefighters and a drunk driver who struck their vehicle, gets caught in the flood. He and the firefighters survive, but the drunk driver dies. Wallach is then informed by McKee that Eros is, in fact, going to impact Earth.

The United States military attempts to destroy Eros using special lasers mounted on three jet fighter aircraft, but one of the lasers is damaged when the jet carrying it takes off through a hurricane. After making some last-minute adjustments, the lasers on the other two aircraft are used to seemingly destroy Eros. It is discovered that the mission was only partially successful. Instead of destroying the asteroid, the lasers broke it into many small yet deadly pieces.

The largest piece and several smaller fragments of Eros hit Dallas, Texas, where Lily's son and father are. The city is devastated by the impacts. Lily desperately searches the city for her father and son, who survive the blast and aftershocks. Her father ends up trapped and hurt in the ruins of the hospital where he worked, while her son Elliot wanders off trying to find help. Meanwhile, Adam is shot and killed by a refugee while addressing an evacuation camp. After a search, Lily locates her father and with the help of nearby firemen, rescues him, but goes on to try to rescue Elliot. After searching the ruined city, she finally locates Elliot in a large impact crater. Jack arrives to help in a helicopter and rescues Elliot. The four return to base where they watch the comet pass by Earth, and are relieved it won't return to cause trouble for another 4,000 years.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission was designed to test a kinetic impact, a technique that humans might use to adjust a threatening asteroid's orbit and keep Earth out of harm's way. Kinetic impact is just a more scientific way to describe slamming something heavy and fast-moving into an asteroid. So that's precisely what the DART spacecraft did tonight (Sept. 26) at 7:14 p.m. EDT (2314 GMT), crashing into a small asteroid called Dimorphos. And the result is a truly spectacular series of images.

Until DART's fleeting visit, scientists knew very little about Dimorphos, which orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos; the system appears as just a point of light to telescopes on Earth. But the spacecraft captured images all the way in, sending home one image every second, with our final view of the asteroid taken about two and a half seconds before the crash, according to a timeline NASA provided before impact.

The images closely resemble photographs taken by Japan's Hayabusa2 mission at the asteroid Ryugu and NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission at the asteroid Bennu. Both of those space rocks were so-called "rubble-pile" asteroids, named for the spread of rocks seen on their surfaces. However, whereas both of those asteroids were diamond-shaped, Dimorphos appears as more of a "space potato" in images DART captured while approaching.

Over the coming days, scientists will be receiving more images of Dimorphos, ones snapped by the Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging Asteroids (LICIACube), a tiny spacecraft that rode along with DART until earlier this month. LICIACube flew past the impact site just three minutes after the collision, photographing the cloud of debris that DART's abrupt arrival flung into space. However, the cubesat also turned its two cameras to the unscarred side of Dimorphos, giving scientists additional data about the space rock.

And scientists have another opportunity to see Dimorphos in detail, this time for much longer. The European Space Agency will launch Hera, a follow-up mission, in 2024. Hera will arrive in 2026 and, unlike DART, will stay in the neighborhood, exploring both Dimorphos and Didymos. The mission will give scientists a better look at the impact crater itself after the dust has settled, as well as at the asteroids' natural states.

Today marks the beginning of the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference. Experts from around the world have gathered outside Washington, D.C., to discuss how to protect the Earth from the threat of a devastating impact from a giant asteroid just in case. And a big part of this week-long meeting is working through a detailed simulation of an asteroid strike - whoa.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: It's all the kind of people that we would depend on if there was an actual threat from an asteroid. They come together. They hold one of these events every couple years, and they have these drills. So so far, they've had, like, three drills at the conferences. And then NASA and FEMA have independently had their own exercises.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Someone devises this scenario, and they spend part of their conference - part of the week - kind of working through it. It's like a choose-your-own-adventure kind of thing, or like a Dungeons & Dragons kind of game. But this is completely serious roleplaying. What they're working through this time is a pretend asteroid that they're saying was discovered recently. It's 300 to a thousand feet across - so pretty big. It's been detected about 35 million miles away and has a 1 percent chance of striking the Earth eight years from now.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: So remember; this is all fake. It's all made-up. But a rock this size could totally take out a city. And so over the course of this week, as this pretend asteroid gets closer, every day they're going to be making decisions and getting new information and kind of playing out the whole thing.

PAUL CHODAS: The asteroid is not in a convenient orbit at all. It's not like one of these asteroids that we go to with our science missions where, you know, you get to pick a nice asteroid that's easy to get to. In planetary defense, the asteroid picks you. 041b061a72


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