Game of Thrones man stars in sci-fi bit on comet-catcher Rosetta

ESA boffin: Reality of landing on comet better than fiction

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The European Space Agency has teamed up with Polish director Tomek Bagiński to meld fact and fiction in the Rosetta-referencing short sci-fi film Ambition.

Bagiński’s production company Platige Image filmed the short in Iceland with Game of Thrones actor Aiden Gillen and singer and actress Aisling Franciosi, best known for turns in TV shows The Fall and Quirke.

In the film, Gillen’s Master tells Franciosi’s Apprentice the story of Rosetta’s ambitious comet-catching mission as the pair create planets and worlds with their minds in a (presumably) virtual reality playground of the future.

The story is simplistic, but the visuals are superb and the film, which was screened at the British Film Institute’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder festival, does a lot to emphasise the momentous occasion it could be if Rosetta manages to land on Comet 67P on 12 November.

“Rosetta is less than 10km from a comet, and both are racing through space at over 60,000km/h,” said Matt Taylor, ESA’s Rosetta project scientist.

“Next month, we’ll be attempting to land on the comet, and with our orbiting spacecraft, we’ll continue to keep pace with the comet for another year or more, watching how it evolves over time.

“All of this is new and unique and has never been done before. 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.” ®

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