A CBS TV suspense thriller launched July 12 thrusts a MIT-educated character into a new leading role. This time, “Liam Cole,” identified as an MIT graduate student, battles to save the planet from catastrophy. The action begins when Cole realizes that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth and seeks help from tech billionaire Darius Tanz. The pair race to solve the problem during Salvation’s 13 one-hour episodes this summer in a plot complicated by romance and government intransience.
Cole and Tanz, played by Charlie Rowe and Santiago Cabrera respectively, take their discovery to a Pentagon official. Although the government knows about this impending disaster, it is keeping quiet, very quiet, while working on the problem. Cole and Tanz, an Elon Musk-type character, say the solution lies in technology that has yet to be invented. Sound familiar?
What would you do in Cole’s shoes?
On the CBS site, take an online quiz including questions like “Which scientist would you want to have around when the rocks hit the fan?” Your choices, by the way, are fictional scientists—unlike astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who makes an appearance on the show as himself. Other quiz questions include how would you save Earth and which group (scientists, anyone?) would you choose to repopulate Earth. The big boom would likely cause an extinction-level event.
Earlier MIT fictional moments on camera include Iron Man Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., and the newer Marvel Comics iron person, Riri Williams, as well as numerous brass rat sightings on screen. A few years ago, MIT and Cornell staged a fictional alumni face-off on social media and the results favored MIT.
And if you really want to know about asteroids, MIT is a great source:
- Slice of MIT: Geophysicist to lead NASA mission to explore metal asteroid.
- Ask an Engineer: What are the chances that a large asteroid will collide with Earth—and will we see it coming?
- Project Apophis: Space Systems Engineering students design a close-range mission to a giant asteroid that will fly by Earth in 2029.
- Mission 2016: Asteroid Mining
And to find out what MIT graduate students do when they are not saving the planet, check out the Grad Life posts on Slice of MIT.