The first dog in space. The first man and woman. Now, Russia is about to start another spaceflight first before the United States: beating Hollywood in orbit.
A Russian actress, director and professional astronaut guide launched a Russian rocket towards the International Space Station on Tuesday. Their job is to shoot scenes for the first feature-length movie in space. While cinematic sequences have long been filmed in space on big screens using advanced sound stages and computer graphics, a full-length movie has never been filmed and directed in space before.
What is the launch date and how can I watch it?
The Soyuz rocket, the backbone of Russia’s space program, is scheduled to launch at 4:55 a.m. ET from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The MS-19 spacecraft carrying a crew of three is expected to dock with the space station about three hours later, at 8:12 a.m.
NASA, which operates the space station in partnership with Russia, The launch broadcast will begin at 4:15 a.m. ET. Or you can watch the video in the player embedded above.
Another live broadcast of the spacecraft’s docking will begin at 7:30 a.m.
According to live coverage of the Russian Space Agency, the crew of cosmonauts have boarded the spacecraft and are preparing for launch.
Who is on the flight?
Russian actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko will join Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran astronaut who has completed three flights to and from the space station since 2011. Ms. Peresild has spent months training for the mission. She auditioned for the role earlier this year in a competition with dozens of other actresses. Alyona Mordovina, contest runner-up, is Mrs. Peresild’s backup, and she’ll go into orbit if something prevents the primary crew from blasting off into space.
The film crew will return to Earth on October 17 with Oleg Novitsky, who has been at the station since April.
What movie are they filming on the space station?
The film’s title is The Challenge, and it is about a surgeon, played by Mrs. Peresild, who embarks on an emergency mission to the space station to save the life of a sick astronaut. Few other details about the plot or filming aboard the station have been announced, though NASA said on Tuesday that Mr. Nowitzki, one of the Russian cosmonauts currently aboard the station, will be a subject in the film.
Why are they making a movie in orbit?
For The Challenge, cinematic storytelling might undo the symbolism of shooting a movie in space. The production is a joint project of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Channel One Russia, a state-supported television channel; And Yellow, Black and White, a Russian film studio.
Like so many special missions to space these days, Channel One and Roscosmos hope the film will prove to the audience that space isn’t just for government astronauts. Channel One said on its website that one of the primary goals of the production is to show that “space flights are gradually becoming available not only to professionals, but also to a wide range of interested people.”
Funding for the Russian space program has begun to wane. Beginning in 2011, when the US space shuttle program ended, NASA could only send astronauts to the International Space Station by paying for a ride on one of Russia’s expensive Soyuz rockets. But that ended in 2020 when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon proved capable of sending astronauts from American soil. And more recently, the United States Expired Purchases A Russian rocket engine that has long been used in NASA and Pentagon launches into space, generating billions of dollars in revenue for Moscow.
Is this really the first movie made on the space station?
“The Challenge” is the first full-length movie to use scenes shot in orbit. Channel One says the film will include about 35 to 40 minutes of scenes filmed on the station.
Other types of productions have been made in space in the past, such as “Apogee of Fear,” an eight-minute science fiction movie filmed by Richard Garriott, a special astronaut, in 2008. Video game entrepreneur Mr. Garriott paid $30 million For his seat on the Soyuz spacecraft, which he booked through Space Adventures, the space tourism broker. The company is booking future missions to the space station aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Several feature-length documentaries have relied heavily on video filmed on board the station. “Space Station 3D”, a short documentary in 2002 About the construction of the space station, it was the first IMAX production filmed in space.
Are there other plans to shoot in orbit?
Tom Cruise She might have plans to film something on the space station, but it is not clear when exactly. Deadline, Hollywood news publicationIn 2020, it was reported that Mr. Cruise would fly into space aboard one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules for an action-adventure film directed by Doug Lyman. Jim Bridenstine, who served as NASA Administrator under President Donald Trump, Confirm the plans on Twitter At the time he praised them as an opportunity to motivate the public about space exploration.
The Russian Space Agency announced its intention to send an actress to the space station shortly after Mr. Cruz’s plans surfaced.