Soyuz transports film crew and cosmonaut to International Space Station

A cosmonaut, as well as a director and an actress who are going to film episodes for a Russian film, arrived at International Space Station (ISS) on October 5 in a Soyuz spacecraft. At 4:55 a.m. Eastern, a Soyuz-2 rocket launched from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, launching the Soyuz MS-19 spaceship into orbit. After a two-orbit approach, the Soyuz docked with Rassvet module of International Space Station at exactly 8:22 a.m. Eastern. After difficulty with automated Kurs docking system, Anton Shkaplerov, the spacecraft’s commander, had to make a manual docking.

Shkaplerov has a vast experience as a Roscosmos cosmonaut who has completed three long-duration ISS deployments totaling 533 days in the space. Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko, the other two individuals on the spaceship, were spaceflight participants. They’ll shoot episodes for Challenge or Vyzov, a Russian film directed by Shipenko and featuring Peresild.

Peresild plays a doctor who is dispatched to International Space Station to do heart surgery on the cosmonaut so that he can return home. She was chosen from over 3,000 applicants who applied for an open casting call. Shipenko is the director of the film and will also work as a camera operator and in other capacities while on the station.

Shipenko and Peresild will film scenes mainly in the Russian part of the station during their 12-day stay in space. In the US part of the station, certain scenes are going to be shot in cupola. Under the provisions of a deal governing spaceflight participants on this station, they are going to be accompanied by NASA astronauts during those scenarios. Vyzov is going to be shot on this station for around a half-hour, with the remainder of the film being made on Earth after the expedition.

The two astronauts are going to return to this station on Soyuz MS-18 spaceship, which has been docked to this station since April. Shipenko and Peresild are going to return to Earth alongside Oleg Novitskiy, the commander of that ship. Shkaplerov is going to stay aboard the station alongside Pyotr Dubrov, a Roscosmos cosmonaut and Mark Vande Hei, a NASA astronaut who arrived on MS-18. They’ll be there until March 2022, making Dubrov and Vande Hei the first American astronauts to spend nearly a year in space.

Vande Hei stated before his departure that this film would likely require him to stay on the ISS for up to one year rather than the usual six months. When NASA announced the extended mission in September, he wrote, “The chance to explore this with great crewmates while advancing to future exploration and science is exciting!”

Vyzov is commonly referred to as the first space movie. However, it is more correct to call it the very first space feature-length drama. Several documentaries have been shot in space, including large-format Imax films. During one visit to International Space Station in 2008, Richard Garriott, a private astronaut, shot a short film called Apogee of Fear. Garriott and numerous cosmonauts and astronauts on the station were featured in the eight-minute comedic science-fiction film.

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