Russian crew return to Earth after filming first movie in space

Yulia Peresild, a Russian actress, spent twelve days at the International Space Station filming scenes for her first movie.
After spending 12 days at the International Space Station, (ISS), shooting scenes for their first movie in orbit, a Russian actress and a director of film returned to Earth Sunday.

According to footage broadcast by the Russian space agency, Yulia Peresild landed on Kazakhstan's steppe as planned at 0436 GMT.

Oleg Novitsky, a cosmonaut who had been aboard the space station for six months, took them back to Terra firma.

"The crew are feeling good!" The Soyuz MS-18 crewed spacecraft's descent vehicle is now standing straight and secure. Crew members are happy! Russian space agency Roscosmos tweeted.

The Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome was in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan. The filmmakers travelled to the ISS together with Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran cosmonaut, to film scenes for "The Challenge".

If the project continues on its current track, the Russian team will beat the Hollywood project by Tom Cruise and NASA with Elon Musk's SpaceX.

The plot of the movie, which was mostly kept under wraps, centers around a surgeon sent to the ISS to rescue a cosmonaut.

Shkaplerov (49), and the Russian cosmonauts, who were aboard the ISS, are believed to have played cameo roles in this film.

Yulia Peresild (actress) and Klim Shipenko (film director) travelled to the ISS to film scenes for "The Challenge".

There were many bumps in the road.

Shkaplerov was forced to change to manual control as the film crew arrived at the ISS earlier in the month.

Russian flight controllers conducted a test of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft on Friday. The thruster on the ship fired unexpectedly, and the ISS was destabilised for 30 minutes. A NASA spokesperson told the Russian news agency TASS.

However, the spokesperson confirmed that their departure would proceed as planned.

21st century space race

Their landing was captured by a film crew and will be featured in the movie, Konstantin Ernst (head of the Kremlin friendly Channel One TV network, co-producer for "The Challenge") told AFP.

This mission will be the latest in a long line of firsts for Russia's aerospace industry.

Soviets launched Sputnik the first satellite, and put into orbit Laika, a dog named Laika. Yuri Gagarin was the first man to launch the satellite, while Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman.

Russia will send two Japanese tourists to the ISS in December after a decade-long pause. This caps a remarkable year for amateur space travel.

Modern Russia, however, has not been as innovative as the Soviet era. The country's space industry is struggling to secure funding from the state. However the Kremlin prioritizes military spending over innovation.

The Soviet-designed technology is still used by the space agency. It has suffered a series of setbacks including corruption scandals as well as failed launches.

Russia is also losing ground in the global space race. It faces stiff competition from China and the United States, while Beijing shows increasing ambitions in this industry.

Roscosmos in Russia was also hit hard by SpaceX's success last year, which ended Moscow's monopoly on journeys to the orbital station.

Russia's space program revealed this year that it would be reviving its tourism plan in order to transport fee-paying adventurers into space.

Russia will send two Japanese tourists to the ISS in December after a decade-long pause. This caps a remarkable year for amateur space travel.

Continue reading Russian crew films first movie in orbit at space station

2021 AFP