Starring: Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo
DIR: Sebastián Cordero
Blurb: An international crew of astronauts travel to Jupiter's moon, Europa on a mission of discovery. A mission that quickly runs into serious problems.
My Blurb: Okay. So... like many, I think, I've gotten really burned out on the "found footage" concept. It's gone from being innovating to being a cheap way to film people in a dark location screaming a lot when they're not busy being the world's most awful people. So, when I started this film with onboard camera footage, I immediately groaned in pain.
But, the film wasn't awful, hence my deciding to include a review...
Scene 01: We start the film with a mission briefing report on screen pointing out the plan behind the manned expedition we're about to follow.
We then get a few shots of the inside of the capsule as our astronauts go through the daily routine before they make planetary orbit around Europa.
One of our astronauts, James, is recording a video log to send back to Earth for his son. [Because inevitable pathos.] This is intercut with more footage from the rocket far from Earth.
Scene 02: After another onscreen blurb that the world watched for over 6 months as the expedition made its way toward Jupiter, we have more shots of the astronauts doing their tasks. We hear audio recordings of their interviews about why they wanted to venture out and what they hope to find under Europa's thick ice.
The flight runs into some communications problems with mission control as static and intermittant power surges disrupt the onboard cameras - presumably from solar radiation.
As the solar wave intensifies, the cabin cameras continue to glitch, or turn off completely.
Commentary: And this is where I started to think, "Oh, crap!" Because this conceit that we're watching glitchy camera found footage was going to quickly turn actively irritating, and if it went on, would probably end up giving me a headache.
I stuck with it.
Scene 03: A woman's voice over then tells us that these disrupted fragments were the last images received from the Europa's flight to Jupiter. The woman was the mission head of a private venture which funded the mission, and she's still heartbroken by the loss of the crew [so, y'know, in-universe spoiler].
Scene 04: We watch more restored footage of the outside of the ship.
[They have an explanation as to how Earth has any footage of what happened to the Europa flight, so there isn't any slight of hand, doesn't-make-sense-how? lazy scripting at the end to ruin the conceit we're forced to operate under.]
Inside the craft, we are seeing five of our astronauts gathered solemnly in the passenger cabin. Everyone is quiet and upset, as we note the lack of our sixth crewmember -- Mr. Videolog.
One of our technicians says that they need to inform his family as to what has gone wrong aboard, but Captain Xu points out that the repairs outside the craft were never completed.
They ponder whether to abort the mission, or continue despite their loss.
Commentary: First, I have to give kudos to the scripting here. Nobody is immediately coming off cold and unlikeable. Even the Captain isn't pushing the crew to put the recent loss of their colleague behind them FOR THE MISSION. Our characters are being written like real people, who are seriously considering what to do now, after all of the effort to get them out that far.
And I also immediately appreciated that our company CEO isn't written as Ms. Asshole. These are folks who didn't have ulterior motives, did respect and like their colleagues, worried over each other, and in the case of the CEO, are suffering emotionally over the disaster that this mission is obviously going to come to before closing credits.
I'm also liking the minimal music -- though technically, there shouldn't be any of course, we can justify it as being added later as they were putting together this documentary on man's first attempt to send people to the Outer Solar System. It's a bit tacky - in universe - but exactly what would happen. And as a watcher out-of-universe, I like that it's not heavy handed or a constant distraction (or so far anyway).
The problem really, as far as I can see this early, is going to be pacing. We're obviously going to spend a lot of time jumping back and forth between the Europa Mission footage and the talking heads -- Again, like an actual documentary -- but the images from the craft is haphazard.
In real life, all of this would work because they're real people who we've lost on this ambitious mission. But since this isn't a real life documentary and is a movie we're watching, I could see it becoming problematic in keeping our interest up.
Scene 05: Dr. Unger comes back onscreen to describe what everyone on the ground was going through as the hours stretched on with no regained signal from the Europa One spacecraft.
Scene 06: After another shot outside of the craft, we skip to a close up of Rosa describing the aftermath of the accident that cost the life of James. The crew basically withdrew into themselves in the immediate aftermath of his death.
We see the other crewmen, Katya and Daniel, packing up James' go-bag. Captain Xu and engineer Andrei are off in another section of the capsule -- presumably trying to recover communications around the incomplete repairs.
Commentary: And this is a false note in the narrative. I do see this crewman making a diary of the mission and what had happened, and how she feels about it. All of that isn't an issue. But, she's speaking as if this was a past event... like this is months later and she's being interviewed, which isn't correctly filmed.
This should be filmed as if the event only recently happened, and she filming this in the here-and-now with it still fresh for the record. Whether this ever is able to be transmitted to mission control or not, the tone should be different than what we're seeing.
Now, I have a speculation that this was supposed to misdirect the audience into thinking that the mission was able to make it back home eventually, but that doesn't work with the tone that Dr. Unger's scenes have, which have already left us pretty sure that this flight ended up doomed.
I'm sorry to spoiler this here, but we're being led to believe that Rosa survived the disaster and returned to Earth. She, at least, doesn't. Which makes her tone here inconsistent with WHEN she's recording. It's cheating in order to hide who lives and who doesn't by the end, but that isn't necessary. We could've had her segment filmed in a real-time way, and still wondered if she'll make it back to Earth without a problem for the narrative flow. That's the sort of annoying logical problems that crop up in 'found footage' films that make me dislike them so. You have to be a lot more careful about not cheating when it comes to tone and timeline of when the footage was supposedly recorded.
Scene 07: Sometime later, cockpit footage records Captain Xu being unsure of their choice to continue the mission, but Rosa believes it is the correct decision.
Scene 08: As they make the approach to Jupiter, Katya checks in with Andrei. He insists that he's fine, but his intense focus on his electronics, and the shadows under his eyes belie his claims. Clearly the loss of James is impacting him hard.
Katya points out that Andrei hasn't said a word to her in a week. She speaks to him in Russian, which at least gets a response.
Commentary: Yeah. I do wish that this was filmed as a straight Sci-Fi drama, without the capsule footage conceit. It's more distracting from, rather than pulling the audience into, the film. And a lot of these quiet scenes between characters would work better without the harsh direct-to-video feel of the "on-board camera footage".
[On a review note; It's hard to find images to screen cap because everything looks the same and scenes are really just a series of close ups on faces working at stations. It's going to be a struggle to cap in this review as long as we're all stuck on this enclosed space.]
Scene 09: Rosa comes back, and tells us about the weird things that start to happen to you when you're in artificial G and mostly isolation. Exacerbated by the crew not wanting to talk to each other, as they each deal with the tragedy that has marred this scientific advance.
We see each of the crew as Rosa tells the camera that even though you might recognize what his happening to you, it doesn't stop you from slowly breaking under the monotony.
Scene 10: After another outside rear view from the ship, showing that the craft has passed by Jupiter and is therefore closing in slowly on Europa, Dr. Unger returns in her interview.
She says that she continued to structure her life around the mission that she hoped was still going on, even though they couldn't reach the spacecraft to confirm.
This is intercut with footage of the crew continuing their excercise regimes to counter muscle loss during the space travel [It's not made clear just how much gravity is onboard, but we'll have to assume it's something less than 1G, or the exercise wouldn't be strictly necessary].
Onboard the craft, there are indications that a data stream may once again be transmitting.
Scene 11: We then jump back in time by over 19 months to the beginning phase of the launch.
As the capsule is making its way to the rocket that will launch it on its way, Dr. Unger and her ground team are holding press conferences and expressing their optimistic excitement in opening this new era for manned exploration of our neighborhood.
Through news reports we follow the final countdown and blast off.
Obviously, they make it successfully into space to everyone's relief and joy.
While the craft makes it into orbit and beyond, Dr. Unger tells her documentarists that their company's goal was to pick up where the government's space programs had left off back in the 70's, pointing out that humans hadn't left low Earth orbit since.
Aboard the Europa One, everyone enjoys weightlessness. This is then cut with the passenger compartment being silent and empty as the crew continue to withdraw from one another.
Scene 12: Back with the past, Captain Xu is piloting beyond low Earth orbit, as mission control brings up the exterior camera feeds and confirms telemetry.
Meantime, James is with a camera and is filming some b-roll for the folks back home.
Handing the camera over to Daniel, James goes on to describe how they can have gravity aboard the ship in the weightlessness of space, involving the two living chambers rotating around a central core and creating centrifical force.
Next is the command cockpit and the science module. We also find out James is an electronics specialist.
Commentary: And none of this is interesting, because we've had 70-ish years of science fiction. We can accept the artificial gravity without an indepth explanation. And the problem, really, is that the length of the film is a bit too long for the amount of story to tell.
What we want is to a) tell us why James is dead (without focusing schmaltzily on his cute, adorable, little son back home) and b) what is going to happen when they reach Europa and start their actual mission goals.
The rest of this would be fine and dandy if it were real life, but it's a movie. We need to get on with it.
We're only 12 minutes in, and I need a break, as it feels like 40. We need to pick up the pace by spending less time with the basic Space Shuttle crew stuff we've seen in real life to get with the actual plot of what went wrong.
Scene 13: Back on Earth, Dr. Unger tells the documentary crew that as Europa One passed by the moon, it had become the furthest that a human being had ever travelled before. Then we get a basic overview of the mission to the moon of Jupiter.
Scene 14: We are taken to a pre-flight interview with James, as he expresses his enthusiasm for seeking out knowledge and answers to man's most basic questions. He hopes to inspire those who come after to keep pushing the boundaries toward ever greater knowledge.
Scene 15: We return to the news conference prior to the mission, with Dr. Sokolov briefing the press on Europa and why this company felt it was worth all of the financial resources to be the ones to send people to it to see what's there with our own eyes.
The doctor says that NASA found heat signatures in an area of Europa strongly suggesting some sort of monocellular life was probable.
His recitation of this fact, is followed by the documentarians splicing in a photo from space of Europa, images from the space craft, and Dr. deGrasse Tyson's wish to someday drill into Europa to see what is in those subsurface waters we've detected.
This leads to Katya's interview in which she offers that if they can confirm life on Europa, it will be the most profound discovery in human history.
More images from the craft, shortly after leaving the lunar orbital plane, looking back at Earth, the Sun and Luna.
Scene 16: In the cockpit, in the past, Rosa confirms cameras and the upload link are up. A short time later, the crew is gathered for mealtime in the habitat quarters, including the doomed James.
We get more multi-paned inserts of the crew's daily exercise routines and shots from the outer cameras of the ship.
We get more footage from inside the craft, with jump images and then focusing on the cockpit reporting minor problems with some circuitry and a small leak that Andrei is working on.
Scene 17: Sometime well into the flight, there is some joking with Katya reporting to mission control that the shower system is inadequate, and James joking that the girls are pissed off because the boys back home only packed them four outfits and two pairs of shoes, so they sometimes wake up and find that they're wearing the same outfit as one another all day.
Things are light hearted, but there is a bit of normal tension with the day-in/day-out monotony of the journey to get to where they can get back to work, as the craft is on coast and mostly taking care of itself.
More shots of the outside of the craft. The ship has passed by Mars [and we could have gotten SOMETHING happening here by depicting a slingshot around the planet for momentum... but we don't].
Commentary: I can understand all of this. Really. It's basically leading you through the real-life scenario of a trip of this length. They've been in space over six months, and they're all antsy to be doing something. The problem, is that we're antsy to get to something happening, too.
Yes, this is a realistic portrayal of space travel right now, but this movie is a 97 minute film. And it is a FILM, not a documentary of something which happened, but a piece of fiction. We can't just keep watching the same exterior shots of the space craft, and astronauts getting bored through an hour so the action can be crammed into the 3rd act.
This may've been better as a 75 minute film. But let me say that the actors are handling what they need to do quite well -- which in a weird way may be part of the problem. Maybe if someone was really crap, we'd have something to focus on and keep our brain engaged. Right now, I've got the strong urge to let this play in the background while I do something else, and I'll check in when I hear something actually happening....
Scene 18: We get another quick flash from multiple cameras, including James outside the craft and a yell.
And then quick cut back to the news conference where Dr. Unger goes on to say they recruited the best of the best from the world's various space agencies for this mission. Each astronaut gives a brief statement about why they wanted to do something this dangerous so far from home.
And then Dr. Pamuk finally speaks, as he gives the media a run down on the designing process of the Europa One.
We get another multi-paned space craft view, again including James' yell.
Scene 19: We skip forward to over a year out, and the Jupiter system is now in sight on approach.
Another skip to 19 months out as the Jovian system continues to get closer.
Scene 20: Aboard ship, Xu and Daniel Luxembourg are speaking to Andrei Blok; Apparently he'd had a mishap, which we haven't yet been shown, and the Captain and Dan are concerned by the rate of his recovery from whatever the incident was.
This may be how he's handling James' loss -- it's hard to tell with the timeline at this point, and if this is how the documentarians are editing this footage, they messed this up [I'm wondering if the filmmaker lost sight temporarily of the fact that we're supposed to be seeing this as events that already were recorded and we're viewing them after the fact -- which is a common flub in found footage movies].
Anyway, Andrei asks how he should be recovering, exactly, to which Will and Dan have no answer.
After Andrei has left them, Dan and William agree that they can't let him stay in the orbiter alone for 3 weeks in his current state [so, yeah, I'm thinking he's in a state of depression over Corrigan's loss]. They decide he'll have to come down to Europa with them.
Scene 21: The Europa One reaches Jupiter orbit. Rosa is talking into the camera for upload, and says that as the ship reached Jupiter, they all felt like this expedition made sense again. And the malaise that had gripped the surviving crew cleared due to the sheer adrenaline of having to get orbital insertion right.
After twenty one months, they successfully enter the Jovian system for their approach to the moon.
They leave Jupiter orbit relatively quickly to enter the transition to Europa orbit.
Scene 22: The lander is successfully piloted onto the icy world.
Scene 23: Everything goes smoothly, until the landing path intersects venting gasses, sending everyone into shakycam.
There is cheering when they successfully touchdown.
Later Katya sits at a viewport and stares out at the ice fields in wonder.
Scene 24: Back with the documentary, Dr. Unger gets teary eyed as she recalls going outside and staring up at Jupiter in the night sky. They hadn't gotten any feed back from the craft, but telemetry showed that the crew may have successfully reached their destination.
At 22 months, and lander outside camaras show the surface of Europa, and in the sky Jupiter, and far beyond, the sun.
Aboard the craft, Luxembourg reports that they've come down 100 meters from their intended landing zone.
Scene 25: On Earth, Dr. Sokolov tells the documentary crew that what they'd hoped to find on Europa - active vents of water vapor being expelled through under sea smokers - was ironically what threw the lander off course during the descent.
He gives a quick lesson about the hydrology they expected, and hoped to confirm, from Europa. He gives a rundown of what science would've been taking place at the landing site, if they'd been able to hit the zone.
Scene 26: Aboard the craft, the astronauts discuss the science objectives. They can't get key surface data from some of the instruments, due to the hard ice of the location they're sitting on, but Dan agrees with Katya that the drill should still be able to reach the liquid water beneath. It's suboptimal, but after the effort to get there, they have to have something to show for it all. Captain Xu agrees to their plans, and the robotic drill is deployed.
As the drill decends through the ice, helped by the surrounding bit casing generating heat to soften it up, the craft experiences a tremor.
The crew [and where is Andrei, now? -- oh never mind, he's in another compartment fitzing around with electronics] can also hear rumbling and shifting under them. Katya tells them they can expect more of such as the moon surface passes from sunlight to night.
And they do, but the shaking and rumbling grows more severe, unexpectedly.
In the electronics bay, Andrei seems especially shaken emotionally by the unexpected tremors - giving us a hint as to what the others were concerned about. Despite being the veteran of the crew, he seems the most psychologically hit by the loss of James earlier in the mission.
Scene 27: As we focus again on Andrei, the cameras seem to fizzle momentarily. Breathing heavily, Andrei grabs a camera and points it out of the viewpoint, but doesn't record anything out of the ordinary.
Andrei joins the crewmembers as they're each at a station running diagnostics of the ship and its instruments. He tells the others that he saw something outside.
He tells them that he saw a light source outside of the ship. To the crew's credit, although this seems unlikely, they don't dismiss Andrei's account out of hand, and immediately turn to seeing if they can confirm through any instruments that something is out on Europa... perhaps the very life they seek to confirm existing.
Scene 28: A bit later, they're unable to confirm, but Katya suggests a bacterial life form clinging to the underside of the ice would be a possible candidate, if it had a biolumenscent response to radiation.
Dan notices the slight glitch in the camera feed filming the electronics bay at the time, and confirms it appears to be a radiation interaction with their craft. Dan and William suggests that Andrei's eyes were playing tricks on him, due to the brief radiation spike in the bay, but Katya isn't ready to downplay that they could've gotten their first hint of the life they came to confirm.
Commentary: I like the way that the mystery of Europa is slowly building here. The trip to get to this point dragged, but this is the right way to approach a realistic-view of discovering something on the moon. And I really like our actors. So, even though things are still moving deliberately paced, from this point, I'm much more fine with it.
So, yes the pacing is still slower, but I don't have the same complaint as earlier in the film.
Scene 29: Outside of the craft, the drill is continuing its way down through the thick ice sheath that makes up Europa's surface.
Inside, things have returned to routine. Rosa comes to from a nap, to find Andrei staring endlessly over her head out onto the surface, straining to find any hint of the light he'd seen before.
Scene 30: We skip backward in time to 3 days into the flight, where James and Andrei reach a friendly bet about the finding of life on Europa. They both take some pleasure in making fun of Dan, when he can't find his toothbrush, suggesting that Blok and Corrigan had become fast friends aboard.
Commentary: I'm not crazy about this flashbacking at this point. I understood it before, from the in-universe documentarians, but now, they're just being annoying. We should've already seen what happened that caused the loss of James by now so we can totally inhabit the crew's "present" - still our past, of course, but the 'now' for them.
It feels now like the in-universe documentary makers, and the out-universe film makers are just milking the expectation of our witnessing what went wrong which is tacky in-universe, and irritating out-universe.
Scene 31: Back on Europa. Dan tries to get Andrei to get some rest, but he refuses as he continues to jury rig some sort of more sensitive device to prove that he actually saw what he thinks he saw to the others.
Blok voices the suspicions of the others, questioning what will happen to the rest of the mission if the engineer onboard can't trust or believe his own eyes. Dan tells Andrei that his crew needs him to sleep, while William listens in and paces with worry that Andrei may be cracking a little.
Scene 32: A few days later, the external camera monitoring the drilling rig sees a brightening light as the sunrise comes over the landing site. Moments later, and there is a thump. Captain Xu identifies the sound as the drill having broken through the icecrust.
A microphone is activated, and the underwater submersible camera attached to the rig is released to film the first images of an extraplanetary ocean, just as predicted. Katya, as the oceanographer, is especially touched by this moment.
As remote exploration continues, another radiation spike is detected from the submersible probe, flashing iridescent colors across the feed, reflected by the ice.
Katya tells the team that the radiation isn't coming through the ice, but from underneath. The probe is instructed to descend, and in the uniform darkness, a short-lived bright light flashes. Another flash, right into the probe camera takes the probe offline, leaving everyone scrambling to re-establish contact, and also in awe over what it might mean.
Commentary: This part, and the encounter between the probe and whatever and its aftermath was very nicely handled. I felt the adrenaline rush when the light appeared, and when data collected suggested that something physical hit the probe. Nice job while still leaving the possibility of another explanation to a life form, so the team is naturally led into larger risks to get something solid to prove life exists on the icy moon.
I really dug this part.
Scene 33: Back on Earth, Dr. Unger is telling the documentary crew that a surface walk had been hotly debated during the mission's planning. In the meantime, we see the crew of the lander now having the same debate again of the risks versus the possible payoff, as the probe has been disabled and isn't coming back online after a reboot.
The concern was always the radiation coming off of Jupiter. But aboard the lander, Katya is insisting that she can take an EV Suit out to the target landing zone where the ice is fractured with a collection suite and thereby get physical samples of any microscopic life caught in the frozen cracks near the surface.
William Xu is counting all of the ways this could go wrong, including a severe wave of radiation from the gas giant, but Katya is passionate and loudly argues that she wants to take this risk.
Scene 34: Flashback back to risks taken, and a loss bared as James is again with the crew. James is suffering now from the emotional costs of being so far away from anything going on with his son and wife.
In the command module, Rosa sees radiation spikes interfering with the camera feeds just as mission control begins trying to raise the craft, having lost the video feed.
Commentary: Another small problem with filming this in 'real world' terms: Rosa would have noted the spike long before mission control noticed an interruption in the feed. It would take hours for the video feed to Earth to be interrupted at the receiving end because of the distances being covered. Rosa should've guessed here that they're going to have communications problems, and then a few hours later started getting scrambled messages from Earth that they've lost the feed.
The fact that the Europa One is receiving a clear signal, even though Earth isn't also seems off to me, but I can't tell if that would actually be possible because of the differences in transmission from Earth vs from the ship. But I do know this apparent real time comm isn't correct.
On the other hand, this could be editing from the in-universe documentary makers, but if so, there should've been a disclaimer at the bottom pointing out that the editers are compressing time and explaining the hours of difference before the loss of feed was actually noted on Earth.
Scene 35: We see a coronal mass ejection from the sun blasting out into the solar system.
Dr. Unger comes back to report on how they'd lost communications with the craft, once the solar storm intercepted it, damaging key systems aboard.
This left James and Andrei to exit the craft and perform repairs. The two men are tethered to the spinning chamber that is providing the habitat section with gravity. [Which seems like a poor place to also have important circuits that may be damaged in the event of a radiation event...]
During the EVA, they run into a panel whose pins are frozen so they can't immediately open it up to see how how much damage has taken place. Captain Xu tells them to leave it for the time being and to proceed with egress due to the exposure they're having. But James and Andrei, after some quick back and forth, decide that they need to see what has happened, or the damage may spread and take out other key systems. They proceed, against the Captain's instructions.
While working at the pin and yanking on the panel, the panel snaps. Andrei begins grunting in pain, while James is knocked off the craft, held now only by his tether. While James is dangling in space, Andrei reports a suit tear to his glove.
Scene 36: While Xu reminds them they're in a bad spot, James reels himself in toward Andrei, who is holding the tear as closed as he's able - which doesn't stop the air leak occurring. They make it back to the air lock, but Andrei tells James that they can't enter. During the panel break, Hydrazine escaped and attached to James' suit.
The highly flammable fuel cannot be allowed into the interior of the space craft! In addition to being flammable, the substance is highly toxic and difficult or impossible to inhibit. In the closed confines of the rocket, it would turn the air poisonous.
While James is freaking out about his predicament, Andrei's oxygen levels are dropping into critically low. Xu orders Blok into the airlock, while telling Corrigan that Dan is working on how to clean the suit -- but James only has 20 minutes of air himself.
And worse, the looks on Dan's face pretty much says that James' problem is not fixable due to the wide spread of the contaminant over his suit. A realization that James, despite desperately asking for a solution, must already know himself.
Andrei wants to try something desperate: Get James out of his suit and pull him into the lock. He promises James that he'll only be exposed for two minutes - it's survivable. But James notes that Andrei is starting to black out. At the same time, Andrei has already begun to unscrew James' glove, so he's now also leaking air.
Xu tells James that Andrei is out of time and orders him to push Andrei into the airlock. James hyperventilates as he sees the only ending left, but does so. Due to the laws of physics, as he's shoving Andrei to safety, he's also propelled by equal force away from the craft.
Rosa is ordered to close the airlock and repressurize. Dan suggests going out after James to stop his drift, while they work on options, but Xu tells him that they'd never get suited up and out to him before his oxygen level reaches fatal.
And that is how James was lost.
Commentary: I really loved this sequence for the attention to detail. It was very accurately done, including the small detail of James' reverse direction due to the application of force against Andrei in the vacuum of space. And, I'm not gonna lie, my pulse did increase while watching the sequence of events. Of course, we knew that James was gone, but I found - a bit surprisingly to me - that it didn't distract from the sequence. It was still a very tense scene, with some very good acting.
Scene 37: As Andrei is reviving in the airlock, James has his last words to his Captain and his son [there's that inevitable pathos we were expecting since he mentioned his boy].
James drifts away, his eyesight lost due to the direct exposure to the sun's rays, as his breathing becomes more and more shallow due to lack of available oxygen.
And then that's it for James Corrigan. In the airlock, Andrei cries out in agonized yells at his crewman's fate.
Scene 38: Back aboard the landing craft on Europa's surface, Rosa is shouting down Katya for wanting to take a stroll out onto the surface without any backup. They put it to a vote, which ends up tied but for Rosa.
Ultimately, Rosa decided against her own feelings to vote that Katya goes and makes the attempt: The mission comes first.
Scene 39: Katya is suited up and given all of the drilling and collection equipment.
Rosa is again giving her exposition/feelings to the onboard camera, admitting that new, verified knowledge makes their lives an acceptable risk.
After the depressurization, Katya becomes the first human being to step foot on Europa's surface.
Commentary: [Added 12/11:] I feel like I originally wanted to make a comment here, but maybe I felt like the review was dragging, or I just got invested in the main story and forgot to pause. Anyway, I want to add here that I fully support Rosa's choice in-universe, and the writer's choice out-universe here. Despite their loss of a crewman, despite the obvious risk of Solar Radiation exposure, despite not knowing fully what the ice's thickness is, despite being in a slightly-horror film - that the characters can't know - I support the crew allowing Katya to risk her very life to explore. I support her choice to explore. I don't think anyone in real life would actually NOT take this risk (selfishly, but humanly if it was someone else's risk) would not want to find the answer now: Even in a "At Least I Know, Now" way. I personally would probably fail in the Leadership department in that I wouldn't order anyone else to risk the journey out on the surface to find the answer -- but I think, And I Can Only Think - I'm Not A Saint -- that if it were my risk, I would've gone. I would feel that one person out of 7 billion isn't worth not knowing. I sympathized here heavily with both Katya for putting the knowledge against her own life, and Rosa who had the unenviable position of being the deciding vote (though, in this situation, as mentoned, even if I was the deciding vote, if Katya or anyone else had said "I don't wanna do it", I'd have accepted this. I'd never order someone into risk, which is why I'm happy to not be in Leadership). They did the thing that I would've done -- even though, because of the nature of the film -- we may be wanting to describe them as stupid. I would've made the stupid choice. They knew the risks, and they've come too far to leave things undecided. It is the same impulse that makes me respect Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, despite the whole space race-enemy's of America-dangerous advancement of the times. I also endlessly respect Neil Armstrong and Jacques Piccard & US Navy Lt. Donald Walsh. These were (at this time in history, only) men who risked going where no one had gone before despite a better than average chance that they'd be killed in the exploration. So I support Katya and Rosa's views here. And, for some reason, I just wanted to let you know that -- despite this being a movie, and their being actors. Okay - I got a little involved. Isn't that what movies are supposed to do for us?