“Good Night Oppy”: Trailer of the Opportunity rover movie

While the NASA — Perseverance rover is attracting more and more attention, Amblin Entertainment and Amazon Studios decided to remind everyone about another brave rover — Opportunity, which mission ended three years ago. In its honor, the studios created a documentary film to assess the complexity of the development of the rover, the success of which mission then paved the way for Curiosity and Perseverance.

Opportunity rover. A shot from the movie Good Night Oppy

Good Night Oppy will appear on the Prime Video streaming service on November 24 after a limited screening in theaters on November 4. The documentary uses archival footage, computer animation and interviews with engineers who will tell the story of the creation of two NASA spacecraft, Opportunity and its twin brother Spirit, which found themselves on Mars in 2004.

A significant part of what makes the story incredible is the longevity of the missions of both rovers. NASA planned 90-day programs for Spirit and Opportunity, but as a result, their journey across the surface of Mars stretched for 6 and 15 years, respectively. In the course of their Mars exploration, the rovers have shown that the distant planet once had humid and warm conditions that potentially contributed to the development of life. This discovery inspired the modern Perseverance team to search for additional evidence of the possible existence of life on the Red Planet.

TV critics have described this documentary as a “glossy advertisement” for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which oversees the space agency’s missions to Mars. “Good Night Oppy” takes us through the various disasters that Spirit and Opportunity have faced — sandstorms, dust-clogged sensors and solar panels, broken equipment, as well as ingenious solutions by engineers on Earth who helped the brave rovers continue to overcome obstacles and conquer the Red Planet. 

The film was created in order to inspire the younger generation to become engineers or astrophysicists in the future. According to critic Peter Debruge of Variety, “this film is a practical demonstration of applied science, which shows how designers work with engineers in close symbiosis, and also clearly demonstrates how human genius and the desire to conquer other worlds are gradually being realized in such incredible projects as Spirit and Opportunity”.

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