The new Space Race took a creative turn: Russia just beat Hollywood to the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos launched the first crew to film a movie in outer space today. In 2020 NASA and SpaceX announced plans to launch American Hollywood actor Tom Cruise to film a movie at the orbiting laboratory. Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said last year: “We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.” Cruise is set to launch sometime next year aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Looks like Roscosmos did not want to fall behind and took on the challenge first. A Russian rocket launched 37-year-old Russian actress Yulia Peresild and 38-year-old movie director Klim Shipenko to the orbiting laboratory to film a movie. Instead of only using CGI animation, the movie will feature real scenes in microgravity!
They lifted off atop the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan alongside veteran Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, who is in charge of their safety. On October 5, Soyuz docked at the Space Station at 8:22 am EDT after a four-hour trip. They will spend the next two weeks filming scenes for the space movie called “The Challenge.” According to Roscosmos, the film’s plot is about a female surgeon who is launched to the ISS to save a cosmonaut. At a press conference on Monday, Peresild shared that she was selected out of 3,000 applicants for the acting role. She previously acted as a Soviet sniper in 2015 Russian film called “Battle for Sevastopol.”
The Station has a large cupola window where the crew will enjoy magnificent views of Earth and film scenes while revolving around the planet. “I still feel that it's all a dream and I'm still asleep,” Peresild told Russia's Channel One during a welcome ceremony at ISS. “Yes, it's almost impossible to think that this all came to reality,” the film director said. They were welcomed by NASA astronauts that include American, French, and Japanese citizens and Russian cosmonauts. "So the Soyuz MS-19's safely at port, and a Russian actress and her producer-director are on set at the International Space Station for 12 days of movie making," NASA spokesperson Rob Navias said during a Live broadcast of their arrival. Roscosmos shared a photo of all the Expedition 65 crew that is currently working at the ISS Lab, pictured below. The film crew is expected to return to Earth on October 17 aboard Soyuz, alongside cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, who has been working at the Space Station for the past 6 months.
Экипаж 65-й длительной экспедиции на Международную космическую станцию в полном составе! pic.twitter.com/ONvkTeYmG5— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) October 5, 2021
Featured Image Source: Rocosmos