ESA and Irish stars team up for Rosetta comet short film

28 Oct 2014

A still from the film Ambition

The European Space Agency (ESA) has turned to Polish director Tomek Baginski and Irish actors Aidan Gillen and Aisling Franciosi to create a film about the landing of the Rosetta spacecraft’s Philae probe on a comet.

Titled Ambition and filmed on location in Ireland, the actors play a futuristic father and daughter in a barren world where they have the ability to control objects and the earth that surrounds them.

To teach his daughter about the importance of persistence and ambition, the father re-tells the story of Rosetta mission, which in their timeline has already happened, but for us in the real world Philae is due to land on the surface of comet 67P Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November.

Bagiński was able to achieve stunning visual effects to recreate the colliding of planets and the landing of Philae on the surface of the comet.

In the film, Gillen’s character attempts to explain to his daughter the incredible achievement that is landing a craft on a comet.

“In time we turned to comets (to find water). One trillion celestial balls of dust, ice, complex molecules, left over from the birth of our solar system. Once thought of as messengers of doom and destruction, and yet so enchanting. And we were to catch one: a staggeringly ambitious plan.”

Meanwhile, speaking to the ESA, science fiction writer Alastair Reynolds believes the reality is just as impressive as the science fiction on screen.

“It may sound like science fiction, but it’s a reality for the teams that have dedicated their entire lives to this mission, driven to push the boundaries of our technology for the benefit of science and to seek answers to the biggest questions regarding our solar system’s origins.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic