Russian Film Crew Docks at ISS to Film First Movie in Space
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Russian film crew docks at the International Space Station(ISS) on Tuesday to film its first movie in space. The crew has set its sights to produce a movie in space to beat a Hollywood project announced last year by “Mission Impossible” star Tom Cruise together with NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The crew including Actress Yulia Peresild, 37 and film director Klim Shipenko, 38, took off from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan as scheduled. Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov switched to manual control after waiting belatedly at the ISS at 1222 GMT.

Russian space agency Roscosmos tweeted. “Welcome to the ISS!” on Twitter.

It was a 12-day mission at the ISS, where the crew traveled in a Soyuz MS-19 spaceship to film scenes for “The Challenge”.

While most of the film plot was kept under wraps along with its budget was revealed by Roscosmos. The movie is centered around a female surgeon who is dispatched to the ISS to save a cosmonaut. The others to have cameo roles in the movie are Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS.

According to Peresild—who was selected out of 3,000 applicants for the role—said at a pre-flight press conference on Monday, “It was difficult psychologically, physically and emotionally… but I think when we reach our goal all the challenges won’t seem so bad.”

Staying true to the tradition religiously observed by cosmonauts, the crew spend time watching the classic Soviet film “The White Sun of the Desert”.Russian Film Crew Docks at ISS to Film First Movie in Space-1The duo is expected to return back to earth on October 17 in a capsule with cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, who has been on the ISS for the past six months.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “Space is where we became pioneers, where despite everything we maintain a fairly confident position.”

If everything goes well it will be yet another addition to a long list of firsts for the Russian space industry.

Currently, the Russians are lagging behind in the global space race, the United States is leading from the front followed by China who is showing growing ambitions in the industry. SpaceX managing to transport astronauts economically to ISS, costing Russia its monopoly for the journeys to the orbital station.

Russia in a bid to spruce up its image and diversify its revenue will revive its tourism program to ferry fee-paying adventures to the ISS. Russia will be sending two Japanese tourists after almost two decades, this includes billionaire Yusaku Maezawa—to the ISS in December, capping a year that has been a milestone for amateur space travel.

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