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CU-Boulder Researcher Was Scientific Consultant For

first_imgCU-Boulder researcher Joshua Colwell was a scientific consultant on the upcoming film, “Deep Impact,” which hits theaters May 8 and features the mayhem created when a wayward comet slams into Earth’s ocean. Colwell, a planetary scientist at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, flew to Hollywood several times to meet with directors and producers about the scientific accuracy of the script, including comet behavior. Colwell worked with technical consultants Gerald Griffin — former director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center who also worked as a consultant on “Apollo 13” and “Contact” — and retired NASA astronaut David Walker. The scientific consulting team also included the late Eugene Shoemaker (who was killed in a car accident in Australia last July), his wife, Carolyn Shoemaker, and Chris Luchini of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Eugene Shoemaker was the co-discoverer of the famed Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet that plowed into Jupiter in 1994. Colwell was kept updated on the script as shooting progressed and sent the filmmakers comments on its scientific accuracy. Colwell did the calculations, for example, on how large a wave would be generated by a comet of a particular size striking the ocean from various angles. He also spent two days on the movie set as an actor, portraying a flight controller in a scene depicting the space agency’s mission control center. Projected to be one of summer’s blockbuster hits, the movie was made by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures and produced by Stephen Spielberg, Joan Bradshaw and Walter Parkes. For more information, contact Colwell at (303) 492-6805 or Jim Scott in the CU-Boulder public relations office at 492-3114. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: May 4, 1998 last_img read more