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Armageddon - Bad Physics
I guess I'm just being nitpicky, but MIR rotating to create artificial gravity is a ridiculous notion. Gravity created by centrifugal force works and is not a new concept, but the structure of MIR would have the occupants stranded at either end of the space station. They would have to use a ladder to move around. I was shaking my head for the rest of the film.
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Rated 4.0/10 (123 ratings) Your opinion?
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Contributed By: Anonymous on 05-30-2000 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
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MNG725 writes:
Ok people, first of all, if you listen to the Criterion DVD commentary, the NASA guy points out everything wrong, he knew that the science was wrong so don't be bashing NASA. 2nd of all, Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer knew you can't have fire in space or you can't rotate the MIR space station to create artificial gravity, keep in mind, it was a science fiction FANTASY. The only reason they put fire in space is to make the movie more flashy and the only reason why they made artificial gravity on MIR is to get through the boring MIR scene faster, think about how long that scene would have dragged on if there was no gravity and they all floated around, not to imagine the extra money for wire effects they would have had to put in the film. 3rdly, why are you all fretting over an action movie anyway. It's one thing to point out the slip-ups, that's fun, I do it too, but it's something entirely different to really let this movie get to you. I enjoyed this movie, sure you have to stretch your imagination, but movies are supposed to be an escape from everyday reality, and in that sense, I think Armageddon did a great job.
44 of 58 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Proffesor X writes:
To Linus Manning, the sun does not burn in space since it's not fire. What we see in the sun is the fusion of Hydrogen into Helium. This is what cause the light and energy that we see.
10 of 14 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Wolf_fox writes:
OK people, watching a movie is sometimes like watching a play, suspend belief just to have fun. It is ONLY a movie people. I thought it was a good one despite all the things I found wrong with it.
10 of 20 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
gerbil writes:
Good, yes! Someone else is really noticing how bad the science in this movie is!
6 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Paul C writes:
I agree. The realism in this movie sucked. This totally spoiled the movie for me. 1. Shuttles zooming around as though they were 'flying' in space. 2. MIR suddenly able to rotate to provide gravity- at worst this would rip it apart (especially with the shuttles dock), at best just make moving around inside impossible. They just couldnt be arsed to make a weightless scene.
5 of 11 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
matthew_9000 writes:
I have a comment that is actually relating to the original slip-up, your comment about them needing ladders to move from one end of MIR to the other is stupid because if you paid attention to the movie, they did use ladders to get from one end of the station to the other; Ben Affleck uses a ladder to get to the fuel pod to pull the lever.
4 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
jpers36 writes:
Even if MIR were able to provide enough spin to get centrifugal force, the movie misrepresented what would have happened. The crewmembers at the axis of spin (where Lev's family pics are, along either tube to the shuttles, IIRC) would experience NO gravity whatsoever. While Lev and AJ (Affleck) move down the tube, they would experience an increase in perceived gravity, and the 40% gravity would have been achieved at the VERY BOTTOM of the shaft.
4 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Dude writes:
C'mon guys. Don't you think they would have enough oxygen, which was also used as there fuel, to keep a fire burning for a little while. Even though I noticed a few slipups myself, it doesn't matter. It is a freakin movie for pete's sake.
4 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
CommonSense writes:
Was 2001 realistic? Can't understand all the moans about the film, if you want realism are you sure you should be watching Bruce Willis films!!!
7 of 16 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Paul writes:
Ok Catherine, first of all centripetal and centrifugal are both real words and forces. The concept of centripedal force is very much like the more popular notion of centrifugal force, which most people recognize as the force that squeezes the water out our clothes in a washing machine by spinning them very rapidly. In fact, they're really the same thing, just seen differently. Centrifugal force is perceived as the force of a rotating object trying to pull outward, which is reality the mirror reflection of the centripedal force on a rotating object trying to pull it inward. During the washing machine's spin dry cycle, the water just keeps going out the holes in the basket in a straight line, while the basket pulls the clothes themselves into a spinning curve at a rapid rate. (ref: and Do a little research before you go bash people.
4 of 10 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
sunkist86 writes:
whoever said there isn't centrifugal force is insane. I learned about centrifugal in 8th grade science for crying out loud. Check your facts before posting something so ridiculous!
3 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Sarah writes:
Okay, I think I may be able to offer some help my physics class, we learned that in reality, centrifugal force does not exist. CENTRIPETAL force is what seems to propel things outward. BUT we also learned that this is a fairly new theory, and many physics scholars still teach centrifugal force. So, all of you are actually right....just depending on the way you were taught.
2 of 7 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Hollyn Ledger writes:
if you think that is bad you will really be shaking your head when i tell you this the producers wanted to be so right on that they had people from NASA come in to verify the accuracy of the that is pretty bad.
3 of 10 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Linus Manning writes:
To Common Sense, How can you even compare 2001 to Armageddon?!?! Yes 2001 was realistic, the production team consulted NASA (and listened to them, unlike the Armageddon team) to see how space travel works.
3 of 10 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
wl_sprague writes:
Okay...while I agree that you can't get all scientific points right for the sake of movie making...this film just takes too many liberties. I actually didn't have the problem with the fire in space...we're use to that. Nor would I have had a problem with there being gravity at the hub of a rotating space station under normal circumstances. But by the time this part of the movie was up I was so innundated with bad, Bad, BAD physics that I was looking for the next big goof. It's easier to accept in a science fantasy like Star Wars where everything is alien to us...but this film is suppose to take place on Earth in the very near future. These are suppose to be situations that we should be able to accept, at least to some extent. Look at Deep Impact...while it too has a some mistakes, it is a much more feasable film, and as such it is far superior (still not one of my favorites, but I liked it enough to purchase the video...used). Armageddon is just way to goofey. And the excuse of "artistic license" looses it's weight very quickly with one as bad as this. At the point of this film (especially considering the money used to make it) it becomes lazy artistic buffoonery.
1 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Wlerin ap Anddecir writes:
Centrifugal force is an illusion created by the inertia of objects within the rotation (or something to that effect). If the Law of Action/Reaction is valid, then perhaps the opposite force is illusion as well... (caused by gravity, for instance.)
1 of 7 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Linus Manning writes:
Centripetal Force- a force that tends to impel a thing or parts of a thing inward toward a center of rotation. Centrifugal Force (it does exist)- a force that tends to impel a thing or parts of thing outward from a center of rotation. I posted this slip-up, and I knew what I was talking about. You really wouldn't want to thrust people inward, would you?
2 of 10 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Linus Manning writes:
Yes Ben Affleck does use a ladder, but he is the ONLY one nobody else does. And you can have fire in space. What do you think the sun is? Why do rockets burn in space?
3 of 14 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Linus Manning writes:
I would like to clarify my comment and say not all fires would work. You certainly could not have a campfire or use a cigarette lighter. But fire is possible in certain conditions in outer space.
0 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
moviechic writes:
I thought that Armageddon was the worst movie by far that I've ever seen! I totally agree with KingDAZZA. That's pretty pathetic about NASA and the producers. The movie SpaceCamp was more realistic than this movie!
1 of 11 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
KingDAZZA writes:
Yes, if you ask me this is 90% unrealistic its the worst film i have ever seen for realism
1 of 14 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Catherine writes:
Bad physics is correct for the name of this post. Not only did the movie screw up but also the person that posted about the screw up! There is no such thing as a "centrifugal" force, only a centripetal force!
2 of 17 found this helpful. Did you? Yes

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