In the twilight hours of Wednesday morning, NASA launched its latest mission into space—one that hopes to one day alter the trajectory of an asteroid in space. DART—real name, Double Asteroid Redirection Test—was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in hopes of crashing into an asteroid named Dimorphos. It sounds like a plot ripped straight out of Armageddon, and Michael Bay is well aware of the news.
With the launch dominating the news cycle Wednesday, the filmmaker behind the classic disaster flick broke his silence on the matter, joking that NASA obviously pulled inspiration from the Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck-starring feature.
"Thank God they're doing something because these things (asteroids), they're lethal. They come in 24,000 miles an hour, if I remember correctly — it's an airburst to the ground," Bay told TheWrap.
Regardless of NASA's exact plans, Bay admits the existence of the mission proves the space agency is treating the situation seriously enough that we should be aware something with asteroids could eventually happen.
"It just makes the world aware that there is a big effin' problem that we might have one day so it's better to get our asses in gear now and practice for what can be a very serious situation," he added. "It's great that they're trying something."
In Armageddon, NASA enlists the help of oil riggers to fly to space and drill a hole in the asteroid so that they could blow it up with a nuclear weapon.
When it comes to DART, the mission is simply a test, and Dimorphos poses no threat to Earth. NASA officials say they've chosen the asteroid simply because impact data can be measured with Earth-based telescopes.
"We're doing this work and testing this DART capability before we need it," NASA's chief of planetary defense Lindley Johnson previously told the New York Times. "We don't want to be flying an untested capability when we're trying to save a population on the Earth's surface."