Russia to send actress Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko to shoot film in space
The crew for the Russian space drama, whose working title is Challenge, is set to launch aboard a Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft on 5 October
Russia said Thursday it would send an actress and a director into space to make the first feature film in the cosmos and also deliver an eccentric Japanese billionaire to the International Space Station.
Moscow is seeking to boost its embattled space programme, which has stagnated since the collapse of the Soviet Union and been overtaken by US tech billionaire Elon Musk's company SpaceX.
The Russian space agency announced the film project after NASA confirmed last year it was teaming up with US action star Tom Cruise to make a movie on the ISS.
The Russian "space drama", whose working title is Challenge, will feature popular Russian actress Yulia Peresild, 36, and Klim Shipenko, a 37-year-old US-educated director and actor, Roscosmos said.
They will have to undergo training, including tests on a centrifuge, parachute jumps and flights in zero gravity, starting no later than June 1.
A mockup of the Russian segment of the ISS will be used to prepare the film crew for their space adventure.
The launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft has been set for 5 October.
"Wish us luck," Peresild said in a post on Instagram.
The film is being co-produced by the flamboyant head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, and state-run network Channel One.
Konstantin Ernst, Channel One general director, said the film was part of a major project — that will also include the production of documentary films — to help Russians rediscover "love and passion" for the human spaceflight programme.
"If people love a certain industry then this energy is being channelled into this process," Ernst said in televised remarks.
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