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Ryan White and Jessica Hargrave have made wonderful documentaries over the years, but not one that they could share with kids. GOODNIGHT, OPPY changed that and it’s something White talked about when the three of us spoke on November 2, 2022.
What comes across so clearly in this unexpectedly moving documentary about the first robots from planet Earth to explore Mars is the sheer exuberance of the people behind the mission. We also talked about that before moving on to recreating the experience of the mission in real time and why neither White nor Hargrave tried driving a Mars rover.
We finished up with how two identical rovers, Opportunity and its companion Spirit, could be such different machines; the earthbound implications of what the Mars rover missions have; screening the doc for the toughest audience there is; and the power of imagery.