Russian crew blast off to make the 1st movie in space

Russian crew blast off to make the 1st movie in space

On Tuesday, a Russian actress and director launched to the International Space Station in a historic attempt to beat the United States to the first film shot in space.

The Russian team is on track to beat a Hollywood effort launched last year by Tom Cruise of “Mission Impossible” fame, NASA, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Yulia Peresild, 37, and film director Klim Shipenko, 38, lifted off at 0855 GMT from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan, with docking anticipated for 1212 GMT.


Dmitry Rogozin, the president of the Roscosmos space agency, tweeted, “Launch as scheduled.”

The film team, led by experienced cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, will go to the ISS aboard a Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft for a 12-day mission to film scenes for “The Challenge.”

The Soyuz spacecraft was seen climbing into a clear sky in a live broadcast on Russian television.

Shkaplerov was heard stating in the transmission several minutes after take-off, “The crew is feeling well.”

The narrative of the film, which has been kept mainly under wraps along with its funding, revolves around a female physician who is deployed to the International Space Station to save a cosmonaut, according to Roscosmos.


Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts stationed on the International Space Station are rumoured to have cameo parts in the film.

When the hatch opens at 1410 GMT, the ISS crew, which comprises a French, a Japanese, and three NASA astronauts, will greet the arrivals.

‘It was a challenge.’
At a pre-flight news conference on Monday, Peresild, who was chosen out of 3,000 candidates for the job, stated, “It was challenging mentally, physically, and emotionally… but I think when we accomplish our objective, all the obstacles won’t seem that awful.”

The team claimed they watched the classic Soviet film “The White Sun of the Desert” on Sunday, which is a pre-flight ritual observed by cosmonauts.


Shipenko and Peresild are scheduled to return to Earth on October 17 in a capsule with cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, who has been aboard the International Space Station for the previous six months.


If the mission is successful, it will add to Russia’s extensive record of firsts in the space sector.
The Soviets launched the first satellite, Sputnik, as well as the first dog, Laika, the first man, Yuri Gagarin, and the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, into space.


Modern Russia, however, has failed to innovate in comparison to the Soviet period, and its space sector is struggling for public financing as the Kremlin prioritises military investment.


Its space programme is still dependent on Soviet-designed equipment and has seen a number of failures, including corruption scandals and failed launches.


Russia is also slipping behind in the global space race, where it faces stiff competition from the United States and China, with Beijing demonstrating rising ambitions in the field.


Russians ‘lost interest’ in space Roscosmos was also struck a blow after SpaceX successfully carried humans to the International Space Outpost last year, ending Russia’s monopoly on flights to the orbiting station.
According to political expert Konstantin Kalachev, the space film is a matter of public relations and a method to “distract” Russians from Roscosmos’ “issues.”


“This is intended to excite Russians, to demonstrate how great we are,” Kalachev told AFP. “But I think Russians have completely lost interest in the space industry.”


Russia’s space programme said this year that it will resurrect its tourism programme to take fee-paying explorers to the International Space Station in an effort to improve its image and diversify its earnings.


After a decade-long hiatus, Russia will send two Japanese visitors, including millionaire Yusaku Maezawa, to the International Space Station in December, closing off a year that has been a watershed moment for amateur space flight.

SpaceX conducted the first all-civilian flight to space last month, sending four untrained astronauts on a three-day loop around Earth’s orbit.


The journey followed in the footsteps of billionaire Richard Branson, who spent several minutes in weightlessness in July, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who completed a similar expedition only days later.

Later this month, William Shatner, the 90-year-old actor best remembered for his portrayal of Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series, will go to space on a mission with Bezos’ Blue Origin.

Tyxod Blogs Entertainment Update

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