Russian crew blast off to make first movie in space…
A Russian actress and director blasted off to the International Space Station on Tuesday in a historic bid to beat the United States to film the first movie in orbit.
The Russian crew is set to beat a Hollywood project that was announced last year by “Mission Impossible” star Tom Cruise together with NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Actress Yulia Peresild, 37, and film director Klim Shipenko, 38, took off from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan at the expected time of 0855 GMT, with docking scheduled for 1212 GMT.
“Launch as planned,” the head of the Roscosmos space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Twitter.
Led by veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, the film crew will travel in a Soyuz MS-19 spaceship for a 12-day mission at the ISS to film scenes for “The Challenge”.
A live broadcast on Russian TV showed the Soyuz spacecraft ascending into a cloudless sky.
“The crew is feeling well,” Shkaplerov was heard saying in the broadcast several minutes after take-off.
The movie’s plot, which has been mostly kept under wraps along with its budget, was revealed by Roscosmos to centre around a female surgeon who is dispatched to the ISS to save a cosmonaut.
Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS are said to have cameo roles in the film.
The ISS crew, which also includes a French, a Japanese and three NASA astronauts, will welcome the newcomers when the hatch opens at around 1410 GMT.