Russians beat the US to film first movie in space

Oct 5, 2021: A Russian actress and director made a historic attempt to make the first film in orbit on the International Space Station on Tuesday.

Russian crews are ready to beat a Hollywood project announced last year by “Mission Impossible” star Tom Cruise with NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Actress Yulia Peresild 37, and film director Klim Shipenko, 38, departed from the Beaconur Cosmodrome, leased from Russia in the former Soviet Kazakhstan, at 0855 GMT and docking at 1212 GMT.

Led by veteran astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, they will travel in a Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft for a 12-day mission to the ISS and film scenes for “The Challenge”.

The plot which was as yet unknown was revealed by Russia´s space agency Roscosmos is said to centre around a female surgeon who is dispatched to the ISS to save a cosmonaut.

Astronaut Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS are said to have cameo roles in the film.

Before the take-off, the trio arrived at the launchpad clad in heavy spacesuits, waving to the crowds as they boarded their spacecraft.

As per real life custom, religiously observed by Russian cosmonauts, the crew said that on Sunday they watched the classic Soviet film “The White Sun of the Desert”.

The director and actress Yulia are expected to return to Earth on October 17 in a capsule with cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, who has been on the ISS for the past six months.

If successful, the mission will top the list for Russia’s space industry. The country is responsible for the launch of  the first satellite, Sputnik, and sent the first animal, a dog named Laika, into orbit.

They also hold the distinction of sending the the first man, Yuri Gagarin, and the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova in to space.

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