Factual error: The surviving space shuttle takes off from the asteroid horizontally, like an airliner taking off from a runway. This is absurd. There is no air to provide lift for the wings, so the shuttle - with its engines providing thrust straight back - would simply trundle along the ground like a car. It doesn't use its maneuvering jets at any time, and they are far too feeble to lift the weight of the shuttle anyway. Nor do they gimbal the main engine, which would lift the shuttle vertically on an axis through the centre of the engine - they swoop gracefully into the air after a long take off. Second, they'd have to count on finding a clear length of ground on a debris strewn asteroid. Vertical takeoff, anyone?
When NASA's executive director, Dan Truman, realizes the Earth has 18 days before it is obliterated by a meteor the size of Texas, he has only one option - land a ragtag team of roughneck oil drillers on the asteroid and drop a nuclear warhead into its core.
Harry Stamper: The United States Government just asked us to save the world. Anyone wanna say no?
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