A Russian actress and director arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) for a 12-day shoot of the first film in space. Yulia Peresild, 37, and Klim Shipenko, 38, departed from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan through Soyuz Rocket.

Moscow Times said the Russian team is on track to beat a Hollywood effort launched last year by Tom Cruise of "Mission Impossible" star, NASA, and Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Their task is to film sequences for the first full-length feature film shot in space. While space sequences have long been depicted on huge screens utilizing sound stages and powerful computer graphics, no full-length film has ever been shot and directed in space.

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(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Soyuz MS-09 attached to the International Space Station (ISS)

Russian Crew Goes to Space Station to Film First Movie in Orbit

A Soyuz rocket, the workhorse of Russia's space program, launched on time from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:55 a.m. EDT, SpaceFlightNow said.

The MS-19 crew posed for photographs and waved to family and friends in Baikonur before the launch on Tuesday. Mr. Shipenko, the director of the film "The Challenge," waved to the cameras while holding out a screenplay.

After that, the crew rushed to catch up with the space station, which took only three hours. It was dubbed a "two-orbit system" since trips to the lab in space normally take between eight and 22 hours and include numerous orbits around Earth. (A Soyuz spacecraft made the first three-hour journey in 2020 for Russia's MS-17 mission, which carried two Russian astronauts and one American astronaut.)

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At 8:12 a.m., the MS-19 spacecraft with its three-person crew was scheduled to dock with the space station. But The New York Times said Shkaplerov, the mission's commander, forcefully canceled an automatic docking attempt due to what a mission control officer in Moscow characterized as "ratty comms" between the capsule and mission control in Moscow, probably due to weather conditions on Earth. Instead, Shkaplerov piloted the spacecraft to a port on the Russian section of the station.

What The Russian Director and Movie Star Will Do

The Soyuz capsule subsequently docked with the International Space Station, where the two Russian crew, along with their cosmonaut companion, joined the other seven astronauts already in orbit.

During their 12-day stay in orbit, CNET said Shipenko and Peresild will be filming a Russian film called "Challenge."

Peresild looked forward to seeing months of preparation for the trip pay off during a news briefing for ISS Expedition 66 on Monday.

While it seems to be the first space-filmed material to be used in a feature film, it won't be the first shot aboard the International Space Station: Richard Garriott, a video game creator and entrepreneur who funded his own way to orbit in 2008, recorded a science fiction short during his time as a passenger.

Shipenko and Peresild, who have worked on some of the most famous Russian films of all time, will stay on the ISS for 12 days before returning to Earth in a separate Soyuz ship. Shkaplerov will stay on board for the duration of the trip, which is expected to be around six months.

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