A new flight from a Soyuz capsule took off this Tuesday from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan. But the crew was not the usual one. A director and an actress travel to the International Space Station (ISS) to shoot the first feature film in space. The filmmaker Klim Shipenko, 38; and the actress Julia Peresild, of 37; They traveled at the Soyuz MS-19 accompanied by a Russian cosmonaut, Anton Shkaplerov.The ship used the fast track to reach the international orbital platform, only two turns to the orbit. After three hours of flight, the capsule could not be coupled in automatic mode, so Shkaplerov had to do it manually after a failure occurred when he was 45 meters from the hook point. At the time of the coupling, the ISS was north of the Philippines. Upon the first setback, the two artists have a twelve days for a gravity shooting. The film is a 'spatial drama', provisionally entitled 'The challenge', about a doctor who travels to space to save the life of an astronaut. Russian cosmonauts: SHKAPLEROV, Oleg Novitsky and Petr Dubrov will also participate in the filming of the film. Russia has wanted to anticipate the plans to shoot this same year in the IEI with the Hollywood Tom Cruise Star for the Saga de Movies of Action ' Mission Impossible'. The artists have undergone an intense four-month training.
Dimitri Rogozin, director of the Russian State Space Corporation, has been a key driving force behind the project. Rogozin described the realization of the first space feature film in the world as an opportunity to raise Russia's spatial prestige: "The films have been converted for a long time into a powerful propaganda instrument." So he hopes to counteract what he described as Western attempts to "humiliate" the Russian space program. In a year in which West has highlighted by sending Billionaires - as Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson- towards weightlessness in exchange for a few minutes of enjoyment and exhibition Individual, Russia has chosen to boast within the field of artistic creativity in a collective effort to bring cinema to space. But both the 'Space Tourism' and the Russian Film Initiative have also been criticized within the country. The outstanding cosmonaut Gennady Padalka recalled that cosmonaut's training lasts years. "We spent hundreds of hours on simulators and it is clear that tourists will not be prepared so thoroughly," said cosmonaut to Ria Novosti. If the formation of a "space tourist" takes place in a short time, he will discredit the profession of cosmonaut, said Padalka in June. There is a Russian plan to send two spatial tourists to the space station in 2023.
The film has caused more discussions within Roskosmos. The last cosmonaut in the direction of the Russian Space Agency was dismissed from his position for opposing a film for the budget. Serguei Krikalev was the executive director of manned spatial programs. He was reinstated to his position as director a few days later, apparently in exchange for not talking about the project again. Roskosmos has tried to choose the best possible crew within the world of cinema, something that had never been tried. The selection process has been very hard. The Russian Space Agency and the Piervy Kanal chain launched an open 'casting' in 2020 to look for the ideal actress for this mission. At the end of a first stage, 20 finalists were selected. Later, the Commission of Medical Experts carried out an exhaustive control of the participants to verify compliance with medical and psychological requirements. Physical fitness for spatial flights and work in space was also important. The actress Yulia Peresild and the substitute of her Alena Mordovina passed the final cut and began to prepare for all kinds of incidents, such as a landing in the water when returning or waiting for a rescue in the most frozen mountain. The three newcomers will share space with the French Thomas Pesquet, of the European Space Agency; The astronauts of NASA Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Aki Hoshide of Japan's aerospace exploration agency; and the cosmonauts of Roskosmos Piotor Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy. The latter will interpret the sick cosmonaut in the film and take the captain's seat in a Soyuz capsule to take the crew back to Earth on October 17.Updated Date: 09 October 2021, 04:00