“Good Night Oppy” Tells the Human Story of Robotic Space Exploration

Dr. Tanya Harrison
7 min readNov 4, 2022

An Opportunity operations team member’s reaction to a new documentary about an old friend.

The Opportunity rover views its own shadow on sol 180 (July 26, 2004). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

January 2004: I was in my sophomore year of college, studying astronomy at the University of Washington. The Sojourner rover had me hooked on the Red Planet from the day it landed in the summer of 1997. The moment that rover took its first drive onto the…

Dr. Tanya Harrison

Professional Martian. Geoscientist. Former operations team member for Opportunity, Curiosity, & the Mars Recon. Orbiter. Views = my own.