Bringing space back to people

This weekend I discovered Ambition, a mind-blowing short film. Ambition brings the story of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to the screen. If you don’t know about it, Rosetta is a space probe that was sent 10 years ago to rendezvous with a comet, and after recently arriving, in a few weeks will drop a probe on its surface to study the origins of water on Earth (thought to come from comets). It’s a truly audacious mission that had never been attempted before.

Ambition tells that story beautifully, using scientifically accurate images, stunning graphics, and famous actors (Aiden Gillen from Game of Thrones). It’s a great piece of science outreach, craftily promoted on social media channels. The budget must have been significant, but compared to the overall cost of the mission (1 billion euros) Ambition is a small but worthy investment. In a powerful moment in the short film, the character asks of the mission:

  • “What was it all for?”
  • “Knowledge.” answers his apprentice
  • “Yes, but we also wanted to show what was possible.” he answers in a great quote referencing Kennedy’s historic speech about aiming for the Moon.

Ambition is about bringing science and space back to people to inspire them. Rosetta’s a befitting mission for it, showing what we can achieve at our best when we put our brightest minds together, not for money, not for power, but for science and knowledge. Congratulations to both teams!


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