Russia on Tuesday has launched in a historic first an actor and film director into space to make the world’s first movie in orbit.
Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) together with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran of three space missions, aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
The Soyuz MS-19 lifted off as scheduled at 1:55 p.m. (0855 GMT) from the Russian space launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. It arrived at the ISS after about 3½ hours.
Space officials reported that the crew was feeling fine and all spacecraft systems were functioning normally.
Peresild and Klimenko would film segments of a new movie titled “Challenge,” in which a surgeon played by Peresild rushes to the space station to save a crew member who suffers a heart condition.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov hailed the mission as showcasing Russia’s space prowess.
“We have been pioneers in space and maintained a confident position. Such missions that help advertise our achievements and space exploration, in general, are great for the country,” said Peskov.
Some commentators argued that the film project might distract the Russian crew aboard the station before. The considerably less spacious Russian segment of the ISS might also pose some challenges to filming.
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