Question: How did they change the Freedom's landing gear from skids to wheels after taking off from the asteroid and landing on Earth?
Answer: They probably had two different sets of landing gear to fit the terrain they would land on. It would have to be withdrawn into the body of the aircraft so could have been changed from inside.
Question: Why is it Lev has his own life support system (space suit)? Did they have extras on the shuttle? Or was he wearing one of the pilot's suits (when they locked themselves in the cargo bay before crashing)?
Answer: He would have at least one suit on Mir. They would also have several extras on the shuttles.
Question: Why did the drillers have to go through all the rigorous medical tests if the NASA doctors were going to pass them anyway, after most of them failed? According to the movie, Harry and his team were the best drillers on the planet, so it didn't seem like NASA had any other option considering the time constraints.
Answer: True, they failed to meet NASA's strict requirements. But the tests would at least determine if they could concievably survive the journey, if not maintian optimal health, etc. None of them lost consciousness for any extended periods in the course of the examinations, so they were passed.
Question: What are the military ranks of Tucker, Watts, and Halsey? It's stated that Sharpe & Davis are Colonels, and Lev is a Colonel in the Russian military. Gruber is referred to as Sergeant, but so far, the ranks of the last 3 weren't mentioned.
Answer: It is not mentioned in the movie. However, we can assume that Tucker and Watts are mid-grade officers. They would be below the commanding colonels, but above ensigns because of their flight status. Likely they are lieutenants or captains.
Question: It wasn't addressed in the movie, but did NASA intend for Lev Andropov to go on the mission, assuming the RSS didn't blow up? It seems odd that later on, he has his own pressure suit and spacesuit without any explanation.
Answer: No, he was not meant to join the team. The pressure suit and space suit he uses are spares brought along in case one of the others had a malfunction.
Question: When the asteroid starts breaking up, collisions of rocks make large fiery explosions. What is exploding when rock meets rock - and where does the oxygen for the explosions come from?
Answer: There could be various combustible gases, including oxygen trapped in pockets within the asteroid. When rock meets rock a spark is created that ignites the suddenly released gases.
Question: Does anybody know who was originally asked for the soundtrack instead of Aerosmith?
Answer: Assuming you mean 'asked to record the song I Don't Want To Miss A Thing'? According to an article in this month's Empire magazine (June 2008) it was originally written with Celine Dion in mind.
Question: In one scene of an overhead view of the White House, we can see that the flag on the roof is at half-mast. Why was the flag lowered?
Answer: Because at the beginning of the movie, the asteroid fragments attacked New York and killed lots of civilians. When a natural disaster hits America,the President, as well as many businesses will lower the flag out of respect.
Question: What did the Chinese guy mean when he did a thumbs up towards Harry on the oil rig?
Answer: Thumbs up in America means "good job" or "Yes. ok" something along those lines. The Chinese guy has no idea what Liv Tyler and Harry Stamper are talking about in English and just gives the "thumbs up" to him as a way of saying "good job on the oil rig, everything looks great!"