“Ambition” by Tomek Bagiński

This short film by the Oscar-nominated director celebrates the Rosetta mission and the enduring ambition it took to land a vessel on a comet for the first time.

"Ambition" tells the story of how the most important space exploration enterprise of this age is turning science fiction into science fact by opening up new possibilities for space exploration.

Shot on location in Iceland and set in the future, the high-gloss, CGI-laden film has enough technical fluency to give the impression of a future where the Rosetta mission was a successful precursor to another, more radical age of exploration.

In 2004, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the probe, Rosetta, for a 10-year-long journey which ended with the "lander", Philae, touching Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s surface late last year. The lander has taken images of the comet’s landscape and an analysis of its surface is being conducted.

In the short film, the computer animation is created so effectively that the desolate Icelandic terrain looks otherworldly. It’s different from typical films sponsored by scientific agencies in that it departs from the straightforward cinematic illustration of space missions and imbues the quest with a sort of magical quality. With more than a million hits on YouTube, this strategy seems to have worked.

Of "Ambition", the ESA says, "it adds a 'human dimension' to the scientific and technological achievements of the mission, which include curiosity, drive and ambition."

The only disappointing aspect of this short is that it isn’t a full-length feature film.