On Tuesday, a Russian actor and film director launched into space on a mission to create the world’s first film in orbit.
A Russian film crew sets off into space—actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko launched into space aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran of three space missions.
Their Soyuz MS-19 rocket lifted off on time from the Russian space launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, at 1:55 p.m. (0855 GMT) and successfully reached the designated orbit.
The crew was fine, according to space officials, and all of the spacecraft’s systems were operational.
Peresild and Klimenko will appear in scenes from the upcoming film “Challenge,” in which a surgeon played by Peresild rushes to the space station to save a crew member suffering from a heart condition.
They are scheduled to return to Earth with another Russian cosmonaut after 12 days on the space station.
During a pre-flight news conference on Monday, Peresild, 37, admitted that it was difficult for her to adjust to the strict discipline and rigorous demands of the training.
“It was difficult psychologically, physically, and morally,” she said. “But I believe that once we achieve our goal, all of that will seem trivial, and we will remember it with a smile.”
Shipenko, 38, who has directed several commercially successful films, also described their four-month fast-track preparation for the flight as difficult.
“Of course, we couldn’t make many things on the first try, and sometimes even on the third,” he explained.
Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts on board the station will all play roles in the new film, according to Shipenko, who will finish filming on Earth after filming space episodes.
The crew training and launch have been extensively covered by Russia’s state-controlled Channel One television, which is involved in the film’s production.
“I’m taken aback. “I still can’t believe my mother is out there,” Peresild’s daughter, Anna, said on television shortly after the launch.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, was a driving force behind the project, describing it as an opportunity to rehabilitate the country’s space glory and dismissing criticism from some Russian media.
Some observers argued that the film project would distract the Russian crew and would be difficult to film on the Russian segment of the International Space Station, which is significantly smaller than the US segment.
The Nauka, a new Russia lab module, was added in July, but it has yet to be fully integrated into the station.
The three newcomers will join Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough, and Megan McArthur, Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, and Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency when they arrive at the space station just over three hours after launch.
Novitskiy, who will play the ailing cosmonaut in the film, will take the captain’s seat in a Soyuz capsule that will return the crew to Earth on Oct. 17.
This historic moment will be the first time Russian film crew sets off into space to make world’s first movie in space.Tom Cruise Gets A Behind-The-Scenes Look At SpaceX’s First Private Crew
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