Russian actor, director shoots away to make first movie in space | Space news

Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko will be in space for 12 days shooting scenes from the movie Challenge.

A Russian actor and film director have been launched into space on a historic mission to make the world’s first film in orbit.

Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko left for the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran of three space missions.

Their Russian Soyuz MS-19 lifted off as scheduled at 08:55 GMT from the Russian space launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, successfully reaching its designated orbit.

Peresild and Klimenko are ready to film scenes from a new movie titled Challenge, in which a surgeon, played by Peresild, rushes to the space station to rescue a crew member with a heart condition.

After 12 days at the space outpost, they are ready to return to Earth with another Russian cosmonaut.

Hours before takeoff, the trio arrived at the launch pad, dressed in heavy spacesuits, waving to the crowd as they boarded the spacecraft.

“To me, space is attractive, inviting and knows no boundaries,” said Peresild, who was chosen from 3,000 candidates for the role.

Shipenko, who has made several commercially successful films, described their rapid four-month preparation for the flight as grueling.

“Of course we couldn’t do a lot of things on the first try, and sometimes even on a third try. But it’s normal,” he said.

The 38-year-old director said he will finish shooting on Earth after filming space episodes.

Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts aboard the station are said to have cameos.

Russian state-controlled Channel One television, which is involved in the making of the film, covered the crew’s training and launch in detail.

“I’m in shock. I still can’t imagine my mom being out there,” Peresild’s daughter, Anna, said in televised comments minutes after the launch.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s state-owned space company Roscosmos, was a key force behind the project, describing it as an opportunity to polish the country’s space glory.

True to a pre-flight tradition religiously observed by cosmonauts, the crew said they watched the classic Soviet film “The White Sun of the Desert” on Sunday.

Shipenko and Peresild 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.

“Not only do we have to make a movie, we also have to return to Earth alive,” Shkaplerov said.


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