Good Night Oppy (2022)

Moogega Cooper, Abigail Fraeman, Steve Squyres,
The film follows Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover affectionately dubbed Oppy by her creators and scientists at NASA. Oppy was originally expected to live for only 90 days but she ultimately explored Mars for nearly 15 years.
  • 7.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2022-11-23 Added:
  • Helen Kearns, Writer:
  • Ryan White, Director:
  • Brandon Carroll, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Matt Goldberg, Producer:


10 / 10

An Inspirational True Story About A Rover Who Captured The Hearts Of Its Inventors And Survived Years Beyond Expectations

Goodnight Oppy, by Ryan White is a documentary that brings both excitement and curiosity. I loved learning about how the scientists related to Opportunity, nicknamed Oppy, almost as if she/it was their child. I also loved that, no matter what went wrong, they always never gave up and always thought she would go on. And she did! She outlived her life expectancy by 150 months!

The inspirational true story follows Opportunity, the veteran interplanetary Mars Exploration Rover, affectionately dubbed Oppy by her creators and scientists at NASA. Oppy was originally expected to live for only 90 days but ultimately explored Mars for nearly 15 years. The film follows Oppy's groundbreaking journey on Mars and the remarkable bond forged between a robot and her humans millions of miles away.

Exploring the last 15 years of interplanetary exploration with Opportunity and her twin sister is so interesting. Opportunity and Spirit were identical twins, both 5'2" tall, with human like eyes. I love how the humans associated with them thought of them almost as their children. It takes a long 6 months to get to Mars from Earth. Spirit was launched on July 7, 2003 and Opportunity followed three weeks after that date. I found I it fascinating how, no matter what happened to the rovers, the scientists kept believing that they would work again. My favorite part of their day was the wake up song! It is amazing how Opportunity and Spirit could respond and think for themselves. I enjoyed watching their journey exploring Mars and all the photos they sent back. What stands out most in this documentary is how everyone keeps believing in the two rovers; they never give up.

This inspiring documentary reveals the discoveries that these two rovers gave us about Mars. The film helps audiences understand the incredible amount of work that the scientists and the robots' creators put in to achieve the accomplishments of these two robots. They gave us so much information we never had previously.

I give Goodnight Oppy 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available now on Amazon Prime. By Sariah R., KIDS FIRST!

7 / 10


Greetings again from the darkness. "Check out the brain on Brad!" There may or may not have been a 'Brad' on the NASA team we follow in Ryan White's documentary, however Samuel L Jackson's famous line from PULP FICTION certainly holds true for the rest of the team that helped execute the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. A brief overview outlines the attempts to gain approval, followed by the design and planning and testing to ensure the window for launch was met. See, the launch was scheduled according to a planetary alignment that only occurs every 26 months. A late arrival would have been costly, and possibly ended the program before it really started.

The mission was to send a rover to Mars and have it procure samples from around the red planet in hopes of finding evidence of water, which would likely mean proof of past life. We see some of the design stage as the engineers note the human characteristics, though most movie fans will immediately notice physical similarities to WALL-E. The team created two "twin" robotic rovers named "Spirit" and "Opportunity". The expectation was that each would have a 90-day lifespan and send scientifically significant data back. The race was on to meet the launch date in 2003, and the two rovers were launched three weeks apart - and to different areas of the planet.

After the 6-and-a-half-month flight time to travel 300 million miles, the two rovers were successfully landed, which only kicked off some of the challenges back on Earth in mission control. It's here, and with the numerous interviews of team members, that we really get a sense of the emotions running through these folks who had invested so much time and energy into making the mission a reality. Computer engineered reenactments (stunning work from Industrial Light & Magic) help us visualize what happened on Mars, while the archival footage from inside the NASA control room conveys the palpable tension as they helplessly wait for the next signal to arrive.

Although Mr. White's documentary centers on scientific achievement, much of the focus lands on the human element. We are there to witness first the relief, and then the jubilation as that first signal from Mars is received. Scientists, designers, engineers, and drivers all experience the rollercoaster of emotions driven by the intense camaraderie and teamwork involved. Should you ever doubt whether the smartest people on the planet experience human emotions, you need only look at the faces as daily 'wake-up songs' are played, including "Roam" by the B-52s, "SOS" by Abba, "Born to be Wild" by Steppenwolf. Additionally, after the 90-day window has closed, the annual "cocktail napkin" records each team members prediction about rover survival over the coming year.

Emotions and accomplishments go hand in hand for these NASA types, as do the challenges presented by harsh winters and dust storms that put west Texas to shame. It's remarkable that Spirit lasted more than 7 years, and Oppy (the "lucky rover") went for 15, before finally being shut down while Billie Holiday sang "I'll be Seeing You." Wisely, director White ends on a high not with the 2020 launch of the new rover, Perseverance. What an inspiring trip this is.

Opens in US theaters on November 4, 2022 and on Prime Video November 23.

10 / 10

A love letter to both Spirit, Opportunity, and the NASA teams behind them.

This documentary is made with love for two inorganic characters, that display endurance far beyond their design specifications.

The teams behind Spirit and Opportunity exhibit NASA's mission, vision, and values well. The film can serve as a recruitment vehicle for future scientists, engineers, and astronauts.

Autonomous vehicles explore what is inaccessible to humans in technologies current state. Good Night Oppy, explores the adventures of two unmanned vehicles as they traverse the inhospitable planet, Mars.

What these two vehicles encountered rewrote our history books and paved the way for the vehicles and people that will continue NASA's mission.

10 / 10

2004~2019 What a romantic journey

I rarely have such a patience to sit through watching a documentary like this one. Yes, after 15 years long prospecting on Mars, Oppy, the robot that roamed on that red planet indeed looked more like human with a big heart actually died like a human being. I don't know how the movie maker did in this film to make the journey of these two robots in such colorful narration, but the achievement is so great. We have seen those who have participated this project covering two generations of the scientists, we saw them from middle age to senior, we saw the second generation catching and patching up to continue the probe on Mars. The viewing experience is profound and alarming at the same time. Would the Mars nowadays be the future of Planet Earth? Water was completely gone on the Mars, and our planet seems to suffer the similar long but rapid process of losing water too. The long and harsh drought has already affected all the creatures on Earth. The deserts all over in the world have silently and deadly expanded upon us, yet we humans living on this planet seem to pay no attention to the coming rude awaking. How long we would have before the last drop of water drys up? The possibility of such deadly transformation that the Earth would completely become what we have seen on Mars seems to be inevitable. Of course it won't happen in my lifetime, but how many lifetimes would it be the doomsday of this blue planet to become another red one? Oh, don't forget to waste tons of water to make your lawn look green, and enjoy a 30 to 40 minutes long hot shower everyday.

10 / 10

The Other Side of America

Just beautiful. It's so hard slogging through the day to day horror show that is the United States. It was just so refreshing and heartening to see the very best this culture can produce. All the children of the earth working together in the spirit of exploration. This is what Springsteen means when he calls this place the land of hope and dreams. I am probably the most cynical person on the planet at age 60. I still think America needs a deep shock and a humbling to get on the right track and to be welcomed as a truly equal member of the global community but in the end, it will have been accomplishments such as this that will earn us our redemption. I mean, if anything can.