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The trailer for Good Night Oppy unveiled by Amazon Prime reveals the bond between NASA scientists and two Rover robots they sent to Mars for a 90-day mission, only to see the machines survive for many years on space missions.
“I don’t think anyone expected the Rover to survive all these disasters,” a scientist says of the Mars robots at one point in the trailer for Ryan White’s heartwarming documentary. In 2003, two robotic rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, were sent to Mars on separate missions to collect data and both were designed to only survive 90-day missions.
Ultimately Spirit kept traveling and working until 2010, while Opportunity prevailed on Mars until 2018, despite facing sandstorms, dust-clogged sensors, inoperable machinery and other technological challenges.
And the Good Night Oppy trailer, with its depiction of the Mars robots with eye-like cameras, arm-like appendages and human scale human woman, captures the excitement and emotion of invested NASA scientists and engineers. “People are forming a connection and a bond to a robot,” one NASA expert insists.
To capture that emotional connection, the documentary relies on archival footage NASA shot of the mission’s scientists and engineers on earth and imagery that Opportunity and its sister rover, Spirit obtained from Mars and photo-realistic computer-generated imagery of Mars created by Industrial Light & Magic.
Amazon Studios’ Mars Rover documentary premiered at Telluride before going to to screen in Toronto. Good Night Oppy hits theaters on Nov. 4 and then Amazon Prime on Nov. 23.
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