Geek Trivia

Which Hollywood Blockbuster Does NASA Show To Potential Hires?

Apollo 13
2001: A Space Odyssey
Pearls Are Made From Layers Of A Compound Known As?

Answer: Armageddon

There is a special place in the hearts of NASA’s human resources staff for the 1998 summer blockbuster Armageddon. The disaster movie, directed by Michael Bay and packed with the likes of Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, was critically panned but still managed to pull in half a billion dollars at the box office.

While NASA employees aren’t one to jump on the film critique bandwagon, they’ve found screening the film to potential new hires is an excellent way to find the hardcore space/science geeks in their applicant pool. The film has a staggering number of impossible elements in it–scenes, scientific claims, and more that simply could not happen. The highest number of errors a potential NASA hire has noted during the screening process is 168; more than one scientifically impossible action or event per minute of the film.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Michael Bay admitted that the premise of NASA being able to anything central to the plot of the movie in order to save Earth was highly unrealistic and NASA itself included a disclaimer in the credits of the movie stating that their cooperation with the film had nothing to do with their endorsement of the science or characters depicted therein.