Film Review: Good Night Oppy

David Bowie asked “Is there life on Mars?” The answer is possibly not, but there’s evidence to suggest there once might have been. Martians would not have been little green men though, although you never know….When we look to the stars there are countless possibilities, but could humans actually colonise another planet? The sheer logistics of travelling that far are a huge hurdle, but we simply don’t know enough about our neighbours, never mind further afield.

In 2003, NASA launched the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. Their destination, Mars. Landing on different sides of the red planet, their mission was to explore the Martian surface and geology. Both were expected to last 90 sols (Martian solar days) but outlived their sell-by-date by some margin. The former finally got stuck in 2010 while the latter lasted until 2018. They captured the public imagination and collected a wealth of data. Good Night Oppy captures their story.

Good Night Oppy celebrates the hundreds upon hundreds of scientists and engineers it took to complete the Mars Explorer Rover mission and the robots themselves. It has been a huge commitment for many involved and it’s much more than simply just another job. Ryan White’s film is great at illustrating this. As well as showcasing the stars themselves and their own unique personalities. Combined with fascinating visuals, Good Night Oppy is an enthralling look at the next stage of man’s journey into space.

Good Night Oppy is out in UK cinemas on 4 November.

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