Launch date: 1998 Pilot: Col. Willie Sharp (portrayed by William Fichtner) flies deep-sea oil driller Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) and his crew on the shuttle Freedom. Shuttle mission: NASA sends shuttles Freedom and Independence to an enormous asteroid heading straight for Earth. The shuttles are crewed with a team of oil riggers tasked with drilling through the asteroid and implanting a bomb. The goal is to split the asteroid in half, diverting it from its doomsday course. Outcome: After a fire at a space station, the crash-landing of the damaged Independence shuttle, the loss of one of the mobile drillers and a crew member's mental breakdown, the mission ends in success, though not without sacrifice. One of the crew members has to stay behind to detonate the bomb. Stamper remains on the asteroid, allowing his future son-in-law (Ben Affleck) to return to Earth.
Frank Masi / Touchstone Pictures
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