Get our free mobile app

Do you remember the 1998 Ben Affleck/Bruce Willis blockbuster movie Armageddon?  The film centered on a group of offshore oil rig workers / hastily-trained astronauts pressed into action by a desperate U.S. government to set nuclear explosives on a huge asteroid on a collision course with Earth.  Nothing less than the survival of the human (and every other) species depends upon the success of this mission. Saying that the idea is far-fetched is a gigantic understatement.  All of that is pure science fiction, right?  Thanks in part to a very smart man from Shreveport, not entirely.

Bruce Willis And Will Patton In Armageddon
Photo By Getty Images
loading...

According to a report from WNTZ, Aerospace Engineer with the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory Dr. Justin Atchison is working with his fellow eggheads at NASA on a solution to the whole life-ending-space-rock problem thing right now.  They also report that Dr. Justin hails from Shreveport.

SpaceX Falcon-9 Rocket And Crew Dragon Capsule Launches From Cape Canaveral Sending Astronauts To The International Space Station
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
loading...

Atchison is part of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), a first-of-its-mission set to follow in the movie Armageddon's footsteps.  According to report, the team launched a specialized spacecraft that is now travelling an incredible six million miles away, where it will eventually crash into an asteroid at 15,000 miles per hour.  Just like in the movie, the plan is to knock the planet killer off-course.

NEAR Space Probe to Land on Asteroid Eros
Photo Courtesy of NASA/Newsmakers
loading...

The test phase of this mission is just that - a test.  It's the slide-rule crowd's version of "hold my beer and watch this."  Even though this huge space rock doesn't pose a direct risk to our planet, the data collected when they smash into it at break-neck speeds will allow us to build spacecraft that will be ready to perform the same task if the need ever does arise.

Via Google Street View
Via Google Street View
loading...

Shreveport native Dr. Atchison is as smart as they come.  He reportedly made it to the prestigious John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab by first making his way through Stoner Hill Elementary, Caddo Middle Magnet, Caddo Middle High, and then the Caddo Career Center. After that, he attended Louisiana Tech in Ruston, then went on to Cornell University.  That being said, you can still hear the Ratchet City in this quote from the WNTZ report:

We basically just hit the asteroid as fast as we can, and in doing so, nudge it ever so slightly. Then if it’s done early enough and in the right direction, that could prevent it from hitting Earth in the future.

Basically, hit 'em as hard as you can before they can hit you - that's the Shreveport way.

25 Most Popular Movies That Filmed in Shreveport

Once upon at time, Shreveport was one of the hottest filming destinations in the country. We had everything from major blockbusters to low-budget indie films shot here. So, here are the most popular films shot right here in Shreveport according to IMDB. This contains only movies, not television shows. If we included TV shows, True Blood would be number 1 with a bullet.

25 Obscure Facts You Probably Don't Know About Louisiana

Louisiana is a weird and wild place. Some of our state's history is way stranger than fiction! Test yourself to see if you are a Bayou State expert!

Top 10 Most Dangerous Towns in Louisiana

Louisiana has tons of awesome people and charm. Along with all of the good stuff, we've got some pretty dangerous parts. Below, you'll find the top 10 most dangerous towns in our state based on the likely hood a crime will affect the average citizen living there. Some of these entries are what you'd expect, but others were complete surprises to me. Watch your back as you travel through the Sportsman's Paradise - especially if you happen to pass through these towns.