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Live Updates: A Russian Film Crew Has Arrived at the Space Station. Live Updates: A Russian Film Crew Has Arrived at the Space Station.
(32 minutes later)
The first dog in space. The first man and woman. Now Russia is about to clinch another spaceflight first before the United States: Beating Hollywood to orbit.The first dog in space. The first man and woman. Now Russia is about to clinch another spaceflight first before the United States: Beating Hollywood to orbit.
A Russian actress, a director and their professional Russian astronaut guide launched on a Russian rocket toward the International Space Station on Tuesday. Their mission is to shoot scenes for the first feature-length film in space. While cinematic sequences in space have long been portrayed on big screens using sound stages and advanced computer graphics, never before has a full-length movie been shot and directed in space.A Russian actress, a director and their professional Russian astronaut guide launched on a Russian rocket toward the International Space Station on Tuesday. Their mission is to shoot scenes for the first feature-length film in space. While cinematic sequences in space have long been portrayed on big screens using sound stages and advanced computer graphics, never before has a full-length movie been shot and directed in space.
A Soyuz rocket, the workhorse of Russia’s space program, lifted off on time at 4:55 a.m. Eastern time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The MS-19 spacecraft carrying the three-person crew is expected to dock with the space station about three hours later, at 8:12 a.m. A Soyuz rocket, the workhorse of Russia’s space program, lifted off on time at 4:55 a.m. Eastern time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The MS-19 crew posed for photos and waved to family and fans during launch preparations in Baikonur on Tuesday. Klim Shipenko, the director of the film, “The Challenge,” held up a script as he waved to cameras. Before the launch on Tuesday, the MS-19 crew posed for photos and waved to family and fans during in Baikonur. Klim Shipenko, the director of the film that is being made in orbit, “The Challenge,” held up a script as he waved to cameras.
“We didn’t forget to take it with us,” he said, according to a NASA translator, before he boarded a bus with the other crew members to get dressed in their flight suits.“We didn’t forget to take it with us,” he said, according to a NASA translator, before he boarded a bus with the other crew members to get dressed in their flight suits.
NASA, which manages the space station in partnership with Russia, will host another livestream for the spacecraft’s docking beginning at 7:30 a.m. You can also watch the video in the player embedded above. The crew then raced to catch up with the space station in a trip that took only three hours. Known as a “two-orbit scheme,” it is unusually fast, as journeys to the lab in space typically last between eight to 22 hours over multiple orbits around Earth. The first three-hour trip was performed by a Soyuz spacecraft in 2020 for Russia’s MS-17 mission, carrying two Russian astronauts and a U.S. astronaut.
The three-hour trip, called a “two-orbit scheme,” is unusually fast for journeys to the space station, which typically last between eight to 22 hours over multiple orbits around Earth. The first three-hour trip was performed by a Soyuz spacecraft in 2020 for Russia’s MS-17 mission, carrying two Russian astronauts and a U.S. astronaut. The MS-19 spacecraft carrying and its three-person crew was expected to dock with the space station at 8:12 a.m. But because of software problems and what a mission control official in Moscow described as “ratty comms” between the capsule and mission control in Moscow, Anton Shkaplerov, the mission’s commander, was forced to abort an initial automated docking attempt. The capsule’s automated docking software was then disabled, and Mr. Shkaplerov manually steered the spacecraft to a port on the station’s Russian segment.
Yulia Peresild, a Russian actress, Mr. Shipenko and Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran astronaut who has completed three treks to and from the space station since 2011, are strapped inside the MS-19 capsule on their way to the space station. Ms. Peresild has spent months training for the mission. “Up, down, left, right,” the mission control official in Moscow instructed Mr. Shkaplerov, as he steered the spacecraft closer to the station’s Russian segment. “Do what you’ve trained for. You’ll be fine.”
The capsule latched onto the space station around 8:22 a.m., with the crew expected to enter the Russian module at around 9:30 a.m.
The crew will spend nearly two weeks on the space station before returning on Oct. 17 aboard the MS-17 Soyuz spacecraft, which has been docked to the I.S.S. for nearly a year.
Yulia Peresild, a Russian actress, Mr. Shipenko and Mr. Shkaplerov, a veteran astronaut who has completed three treks to and from the space station since 2011, are strapped inside the MS-19 capsule on their way to the space station. Ms. Peresild has spent months training for the mission.
The film crew will return to Earth on Oct. 17 along with Oleg Novitsky, an astronaut who’s been on the station since April.The film crew will return to Earth on Oct. 17 along with Oleg Novitsky, an astronaut who’s been on the station since April.
“Undoubtedly, this mission is special, we have people going to space who are neither tourists nor professional cosmonauts,” said Dmitri Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. He said he hoped the flight would help the agency attract a new generation of talent.“Undoubtedly, this mission is special, we have people going to space who are neither tourists nor professional cosmonauts,” said Dmitri Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. He said he hoped the flight would help the agency attract a new generation of talent.
As an actress, Ms. Peresild, has performed in some 70 roles onscreen, and Russian movie publications have named her among the top 10 actresses under 35 years old. She may be best known among Russian moviegoers for “Battle for Sevastopol” (2015), in which she played the role of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the deadliest Red Army female sniper during World War II.As an actress, Ms. Peresild, has performed in some 70 roles onscreen, and Russian movie publications have named her among the top 10 actresses under 35 years old. She may be best known among Russian moviegoers for “Battle for Sevastopol” (2015), in which she played the role of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the deadliest Red Army female sniper during World War II.
But her prominence alone wouldn’t have been enough to secure her a seat to orbit: She was picked for the flight from some 3,000 contestants in a two-stage selection procedure that involved both tests of creativity and a stringent medical and physical fitness screening.But her prominence alone wouldn’t have been enough to secure her a seat to orbit: She was picked for the flight from some 3,000 contestants in a two-stage selection procedure that involved both tests of creativity and a stringent medical and physical fitness screening.
The movie’s working title is “The Challenge,” and it’s about a surgeon, played by Ms. Peresild, who embarks on an emergency mission to the space station to save an ailing cosmonaut’s life. Few other details about the plot or the filming aboard the station have been announced, although NASA said on Tuesday that Mr. Novitsky, one of the Russian astronauts currently aboard the station, will play the role of the sick cosmonaut.The movie’s working title is “The Challenge,” and it’s about a surgeon, played by Ms. Peresild, who embarks on an emergency mission to the space station to save an ailing cosmonaut’s life. Few other details about the plot or the filming aboard the station have been announced, although NASA said on Tuesday that Mr. Novitsky, one of the Russian astronauts currently aboard the station, will play the role of the sick cosmonaut.
The crew, using hand-held cameras both on board the capsule and in the space station, started filming scenes for the movie as the spacecraft approached the outpost, Rob Navias, a NASA spokesman, said on the livestream.The crew, using hand-held cameras both on board the capsule and in the space station, started filming scenes for the movie as the spacecraft approached the outpost, Rob Navias, a NASA spokesman, said on the livestream.
For “The Challenge,” cinematic storytelling may take a back seat to the symbolism of shooting a movie in space. The production is a joint project involving Russia’s space agency Roscosmos; Channel One; and Yellow, Black and White, a Russian film studio.For “The Challenge,” cinematic storytelling may take a back seat to the symbolism of shooting a movie in space. The production is a joint project involving Russia’s space agency Roscosmos; Channel One; and Yellow, Black and White, a Russian film studio.
Like a lot of private missions to space these days, Channel One and Roscosmos hope the film can prove to the public that space isn’t reserved for only government astronauts. One of the production’s core objectives is to show that “spaceflights are gradually becoming available not only for professionals, but also for an ever wider range of interested persons,” Channel One said on its website.Like a lot of private missions to space these days, Channel One and Roscosmos hope the film can prove to the public that space isn’t reserved for only government astronauts. One of the production’s core objectives is to show that “spaceflights are gradually becoming available not only for professionals, but also for an ever wider range of interested persons,” Channel One said on its website.
Mr. Rogozin , the Russian space agency leader, said he hopes the mission will make “a truly serious work of art and a whole new development of the promotion of space technologies,” in order to attract young talent to Russia’s space program.Mr. Rogozin , the Russian space agency leader, said he hopes the mission will make “a truly serious work of art and a whole new development of the promotion of space technologies,” in order to attract young talent to Russia’s space program.
Funding for Russia’s space program is beginning to wane. Starting in 2011, when the U.S. space shuttle program ended, NASA could only send astronauts to the International Space Station by paying for expensive rides on one of Russia’s Soyuz rockets. But that ended in 2020 when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon proved itself capable of sending astronauts from American soil. And recently, the United States ended purchases of a Russian rocket engine long used for NASA and Pentagon launches to space, which generated billions in revenue for Moscow.Funding for Russia’s space program is beginning to wane. Starting in 2011, when the U.S. space shuttle program ended, NASA could only send astronauts to the International Space Station by paying for expensive rides on one of Russia’s Soyuz rockets. But that ended in 2020 when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon proved itself capable of sending astronauts from American soil. And recently, the United States ended purchases of a Russian rocket engine long used for NASA and Pentagon launches to space, which generated billions in revenue for Moscow.
“The Challenge” is the first full-length movie that will use scenes filmed in orbit. The movie will include about 35 to 40 minutes of scenes made on the station, Channel One says.“The Challenge” is the first full-length movie that will use scenes filmed in orbit. The movie will include about 35 to 40 minutes of scenes made on the station, Channel One says.
Other kinds of productions have been made in space in the past, like “Apogee of Fear,” an eight-minute science fiction film shot by Richard Garriott, a private astronaut, in 2008. Mr. Garriott, a video game entrepreneur, paid $30 million for his seat on a Soyuz spacecraft, which he booked through Space Adventures, a space tourism broker. The company is booking future missions to the space station aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.Other kinds of productions have been made in space in the past, like “Apogee of Fear,” an eight-minute science fiction film shot by Richard Garriott, a private astronaut, in 2008. Mr. Garriott, a video game entrepreneur, paid $30 million for his seat on a Soyuz spacecraft, which he booked through Space Adventures, a space tourism broker. The company is booking future missions to the space station aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.
Several feature-length documentaries have relied heavily on video shot aboard the station. “Space Station 3D,” a short 2002 documentary about the space station’s construction, was the first IMAX production filmed in space.Several feature-length documentaries have relied heavily on video shot aboard the station. “Space Station 3D,” a short 2002 documentary about the space station’s construction, was the first IMAX production filmed in space.
Tom Cruise may have plans to film something on the space station, but it’s unclear exactly when. Deadline, a Hollywood news publication, reported in 2020 that Mr. Cruise would fly to space aboard one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules for an action-adventure film directed by Doug Liman. Jim Bridenstine, who served as NASA’s administrator under President Donald Trump, confirmed the plans on Twitter at the time and lauded them as a chance to galvanize the public around space exploration.Tom Cruise may have plans to film something on the space station, but it’s unclear exactly when. Deadline, a Hollywood news publication, reported in 2020 that Mr. Cruise would fly to space aboard one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules for an action-adventure film directed by Doug Liman. Jim Bridenstine, who served as NASA’s administrator under President Donald Trump, confirmed the plans on Twitter at the time and lauded them as a chance to galvanize the public around space exploration.
Russia’s space agency announced its intention to send an actress to the space station shortly after Mr. Cruise’s plans emerged.Russia’s space agency announced its intention to send an actress to the space station shortly after Mr. Cruise’s plans emerged.
Astronauts have been living aboard the space station, a science lab the size of a football field, for more than 20 years, and it’s starting to show signs of decay, particularly on the Russian side.Astronauts have been living aboard the space station, a science lab the size of a football field, for more than 20 years, and it’s starting to show signs of decay, particularly on the Russian side.
Several air leaks on the Russian segment of the outpost have been detected in recent years, although none have posed immediate danger to the station’s crew. Astronauts found a leak in Russia’s Zvezda service module last year by using tea leaves, and patched the leak with space-grade glue and tape. Another gradual air leak is ongoing, and its source has eluded Russian space officials.Several air leaks on the Russian segment of the outpost have been detected in recent years, although none have posed immediate danger to the station’s crew. Astronauts found a leak in Russia’s Zvezda service module last year by using tea leaves, and patched the leak with space-grade glue and tape. Another gradual air leak is ongoing, and its source has eluded Russian space officials.
And in July, Russia’s new science module, Nauka, carried out a chaotic docking procedure: Shortly after locking onto the station, the module’s thrusters began to fire erroneously, spinning the entire space station by one-and-a-half revolutions. None of the seven astronauts on board were harmed, but it was a rare “spacecraft emergency” that sent NASA and Russian officials scrambling to return the station to its normal orientation.And in July, Russia’s new science module, Nauka, carried out a chaotic docking procedure: Shortly after locking onto the station, the module’s thrusters began to fire erroneously, spinning the entire space station by one-and-a-half revolutions. None of the seven astronauts on board were harmed, but it was a rare “spacecraft emergency” that sent NASA and Russian officials scrambling to return the station to its normal orientation.
Valerie Hopkins and Oleg Matsnev contributed reporting from Moscow.Valerie Hopkins and Oleg Matsnev contributed reporting from Moscow.