The two main characters, Tom Baldwin (Joel Gretsch) and Diana Skouris (Jacqueline McKenzie), are inspired in the main characters of The X-Files (1993), Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). It's more evident in the names of the feminine roles.
I'd give up another 53 years if it meant finding you again.
The US launched 24 Titan II missiles at the "comet". The last Titan II missile was decommissioned in 1987.