Russian crew docks at ISS to film movie in space | News | DW | 05.10.2021

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Russian crew docks at ISS to film movie in space

The team will be in space for 12 days to record scenes for a feature film titled "Challenge." The Kremlin hopes the project will instate Russia as a pioneer in space.

In this photo taken from video footage released by Roscosmos Space Agency, actress Yulia Peresild, left, film director Klim Shipenko, right, and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov sit in the first row among other participants of the mission in the International Space Station, ISS, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

The new arrivals (in the foreground) checked in via video call soon after docking

A Russian actor and a film director on Tuesday docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on a mission to make the world's first movie in orbit, ahead of a film planned by the United States.

Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko blasted off in a Soyuz spacecraft together with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran of three space missions.

The Roscosmos space agency released photos of the launch from the Baikonur facility in Kazakhstan.

In this handout photo released by Roscosmos Space Agency, the Soyuz-2.1a rocket booster with Soyuz MS-19 space ship carrying actress Yulia Peresild, film director Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

The crew blasted off from Russia's longstanding launch facility in Baikonur in Kazakhstan

Manual docking necessary 

The crew docked after Shkaplerov took manual controls following a glitch in the spacecraft's automatic docking system.

Immediately after docking, filming was to start, as Peressild said before the launch.

Peresild and Shipenko will spend 12 days in the ISS filming segments of a new movie titled "Challenge."

Peresild will play the role of a surgeon rushing to the space station to save a crew member who suffers a heart condition.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the mission would help showcase Russia's capabilities in space exploration.

"We have been pioneers in space and maintained a confident position,'' Peskov said. "Such missions that help advertise our achievements and space exploration in general are great for the country.''

Watch video 04:08

Internet from space

Tougher training regime than learning lines

In comments on Monday ahead of the launch, Peresild said training for the project had been challenging.

"It was psychologically, physically and morally hard,'' she said. "But I think that once we achieve the goal, all that will seem not
so difficult and we will remember it with a smile.''

Shipenko will complete the shooting on Earth after filming scenes for the movie on the ISS.

Last year, US space agency NASA said that it was sounding out actor Tom Cruise and Elon Musk's SpaceX about potentially shooting a feature-length film in space.

go/msh (AP, dpa, AFP)