A Russian Soyuz rocket took an actor and director to the ISS space station on Tuesday. Together with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, the two will stay on board the ISS for twelve days to shoot the film The Challenge.
The launch of cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild can be followed live on YouTube via the Russian space agency Roskosmos. The three depart for the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Shkaplerov is a space veteran who has spent long periods in space three times before. He will again stay on board the ISS for several months. Peresild and Shipenko stay aboard the space station for 12 days.
The film Вызов or ‘Challenge’ will be about a doctor who has to prepare in a month for a life-saving mission aboard the ISS to save the life of a cosmonaut. It is the first film to be shot in space. With the launch, Russia trumps American plans from NASA and SpaceX to send Tom Cruise into space for a new action movie.
The two filmmakers received basic training prior to launch and prepared to make a film without a film crew. Peresild will do her own makeup and the director will also do the light and sound. According to Roskosmos, Russian actress Yulia Peresild was chosen from a group of twenty candidates. This group had to pass medical, psychological and physical tests, after which they received training deemed sufficient to participate in spaceflight. During the press conference, Peresild and Shipenko said that in the training they learned how to respond in emergencies. They also learned to deal with weightlessness through parabolic flights on Earth. Peresild, 37, is a well-known Russian actress who has appeared in several films and TV series, such as The Battle of Sevastopol and recently Petrovs Griep.
As well as being a unique film, the idea of the project is also an experiment, in collaboration with Roscosmos and Channel One to learn more about transporting non-astronauts to space.
From left to right Yulia Peresild, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and Klim Shipenko. Photo: Roscosmos.