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Evacuate Earth (2012)

If we faced a countdown to destruction, could we build a spacecraft to take us to new and habitable worlds? Can we Evacuate Earth? This documentary special examines this terrifying but ... See full summary »


Ted Schillinger


Bill McClane




Credited cast:
Caleb Scharf Caleb Scharf ... Himself - Director of Astrobiology Center, Columbia University
Kelvin Long Kelvin Long ... Himself - Physicist & Vice President, Icarus Interstellar
Hakeem Oluseyi ... Himself - Professor of Physics & Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology
Karl Stapelfeldt Karl Stapelfeldt ... Himself - Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
David Bartell David Bartell ... Himself - Science Fiction Author
Paul Levinson ... Himself - Professor of Media Studies, Fordham University
Heather Gautney Heather Gautney ... Herself - Professor of Sociology, Fordham University
Catherine Asaro ... Herself - Visiting Professor of Physics, University of Maryland at Baltimore
Les Johnson Les Johnson ... Himself - Physicist, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Jason Kring Jason Kring ... Himself - Professor of Spaceflight Human Factors
Paul Falkowski Paul Falkowski ... Himself - Professor of Geological Studies
Fernando I. Rivera Fernando I. Rivera ... Himself - Professor of Sociology, University of Central Florida
Sara Seager ... Herself - Professor of Planetary Science and Physics, MIT
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
A.J. Bruno A.J. Bruno ... Country Boy
Hunter Deno ... Country Girl (as Hunter Denoyelles)


If we faced a countdown to destruction, could we build a spacecraft to take us to new and habitable worlds? Can we Evacuate Earth? This documentary special examines this terrifying but scientifically plausible scenario by exploring how we could unite to ensure the survival of the human race. Written by anonymous

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Release Date:

2 December 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Evacuer la terre See more »

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Did You Know?


"Starship City" was filmed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. See more »


In the episode about the neutron star, the countdown clock is incorrect. It counts down from 11yrs 1month 1day to exactly 10 yrs when it should show 10yrs 11 months 30days. See more »


Under Investigation
Written by Johan van der Voet
Performed by Johan van der Voet
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User Reviews

A Good Description Of A Possible Doomsday Scenario, But It Wanders Too Often Away From Fact And Into Drama
13 August 2013 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

I appreciated the contributions of very real and obviously very knowledgeable people to this. "Evacuate Earth" deals with how humanity would handle a very real doomsday scenario. In this case, the movie opens with earth being bombarded by destructive asteroids, and as astronomers investigate where they're coming from they discover that there's a neutron star heading right toward our solar system that will literally tear the earth apart in about 75 years. Neutron stars are the collapsed shells of massive stars whose own collapse propels them through space at tremendous speeds. Possessing massive gravity, they literally destroy anything in their path. I appreciated that information.

The portrayal of how humanity would respond was very believable. The neutron star having been discovered, the response is to build a gigantic spacecraft which could transport humanity to some other world (ultimately, in this production, revealed to be an earth-like planet in orbit around Barnard's Star.) There's a good portrayal of the need for humanity to set aside its differences to work together on such a massive project, and some very good information on the possibilities for how to fuel such a massive ship, and how to achieve enough speed to make such a voyage possible. Ultimately using nuclear technology, apparently it's possible to reach a velocity of 7% of the speed of light, which would get such a ship to Barnard's Star in less than a hundred years. The means of developing artificial gravity were portrayed, and there was useful consideration of how to provide food and water for those making the journey, as well as how to govern the quarter million or so who would be on board. There's also some consideration of exactly who would make the journey - since it isn't feasible to get 7 billion people off the earth. Issues such as genetic diversity and susceptibility to disease have to be factored in. So it can't just be a lottery system, nor can you just pick the richest and most powerful people. The rich, of course, have their own resources - and it's pointed out that they'll probably try their own exit strategy.

What didn't work for me quite as well as all that? The time-clock countdown was one thing. Obviously added for dramatic effect, it came across as silly. I'm no physicist or astronomer, but from what I know I don't think that such cosmic occurrences can be timed quite so precisely, so that as the neutron star approaches the solar system, an astronomer watching can pinpoint almost to the second the destruction of Saturn. That just doesn't seem possible to me. Even the 75-year clock seems a bit too precise. This didn't add anything useful for me. It gave this a Hollywood action-movie feel. I honestly could have done without the fake news reports as well, many of which came across as less than believable - poorly acted, quite frankly. And those things did detract from this, for me at least. I was interested in a far more serious portrayal of what was going to happen and how humanity would respond. When "Evacuate Earth" stuck to that, it was very good. When it moved more into the area of drama, it was less enjoyable. (6/10)

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