“The Challenge” | First Film Crew in Space Station
Russia has achieved another spaceflight first ahead of the United States, sending a film team into orbit after sending the first-ever dog, first-ever man, and first-ever woman into space. The group includes Yulia Peresild, a Russian filmmaker named Klim Shipenko, and experienced astronaut guide Anton Shkaplerov. The international space station received all three of the members by rocket. They have to shoot scenes for the first full-length feature film to be solely shot in space. Although there are several instances of high-definition visual and audio representations of space scenes in earlier movies, no actual space sequences have ever been recorded.
In addition to transporting Anton Shkaplerov, a new ISS crew member, Yulia Pereslid, and Klim Shipenko, who will spend 12 days on the outpost producing a movie, were brought aboard the Soyuz MS-19 mission. This makes this mission distinct from prior station trips. Russian media says that ISS will be used to record between 35 to 40 minutes of footage for The Challenge. The film will feature two Russian cosmonauts aboard the station, Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy, as well as Anton Shkaplerov. According to Russian media, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei will help with the project.
In reality, both the government and space tourism companies are continually trying to improve and expand human access to space. It would appear that the film crew’s main goal is to shoot a few scenes in space. Beyond Earth’s orbital distance was previously only accessible to astronauts chosen by government space agencies. However, a growing number of visitors, as opposed to the highly trained Mr. Shkaplerov and his fellow space travelers, will travel like Ms. Sherepild and Mr. Shipenko soon.
The Russian FSB (Federal Security Service) implemented new regulations that prevent its employees from covering the country’s space program abroad. They should be labeled as “foreign agents,” and this mission is the first to launch under those rules.
Concerning the Space Flight
A Soyuz rocket, Russia’s workhorse in space, launched on schedule from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:55 a.m. Eastern time. Before leaving on Tuesday, the MS-19 crew posed for pictures and waved to loved ones in Baikonur. Shipenko, the director of the movie “The Challenge,” waved at the cameras while holding up a copy of a script. He proudly announced through a translator that he hadn’t forgotten to bring the screenplay along. He stated that just before getting on a bus the rest of the group dressed up in flight suits.
The crew thereafter hurried to catch up with the space station, which only took 3 hours. Given that flights to the lab in space often take between 8 and 22 hours and need many orbits of the Earth, it was incredibly quick. The MS-19 spacecraft and its three-person crew were due to dock with the space station at 8:12 a.m. The mission’s commander, Mr. Shkaplerov, was forced to abort an autonomous docking attempt. And it was because of what a mission control operator in Moscow called “ratty comms” between the capsule and mission control in Moscow, perhaps because of the planet’s weather.
In such a case, Mr. Shkaplerov directed the spacecraft to a port on the Russian side of the space station.
At 8:22 a.m., the capsule docked with the space station a few minutes later than expected. The team checked for air leaks and the Russian astronauts on board set up their first shot of none other than Ms. Peresild’s arrival as it took longer than planned to pen the hatch door.
Regarding the Film
To film shots for a movie, the three crew members are transported into space. Less like the highly trained Mr. Shkaplerov and his fellow space travelers, a Russian actress and director will begin shooting their first film aboard the space station. They will film space shots for the Russian film “Vyzov, or Challenge,” directed by Shipenko and starring Peresild. Over 3,000 people applied for an open casting call, and she was picked from among them. The movie’s director, Shipenko, will perform other roles while aboard the space station in addition to acting as the camera operator and director of the picture.
During 12-day stay in orbit, Peresild and Shipenko will mostly film scenes in the Russian section of the space station. In the US portion of the station, a few shots are taken from the cupola. They will be accompanied by NASA astronauts during such sequences, following the terms of an agreement governing spaceflight participation on the station.
The Challenge’s Plot
The story, which has been kept secret along with its budget, centers on a surgeon, played by Peresild, who is dispatched to the International Space Station (ISS) to assist in saving a cosmonaut.
There were difficulties with the shoot. Earlier this month, when the film crew reached the space station, a technical error required the flight commander to physically dock their Soyuz spacecraft. Days later, during a test of the spacecraft by flight control before its return to Earth, the ship’s thruster suddenly ignited, causing the ISS to become unstable for around 30 minutes.
Shipenko stated he thought the film would be a box office success, intended for an international release, and that it would be in production until the end of the next year.
If the project continues as planned, it will release before a Hollywood film starring Tom Cruise that was announced by NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX last year. If so, Russia will have achieved once again another significant first in space.
Many groups and individuals have criticized Roscosmos for removing trained cosmonauts from Soyuz MS-19 to make room for an actress and a film director. This criticism is similar to the opposition Tom Cruise faced in the United States regarding his proposed flight to the ISS to film a movie. And now the recent criticism leveled against Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic in the suborbital tourism sector.
Others have attacked the two for their supposed lack of training, claiming that using the ISS, a research station, in this manner is illegal. Others claim that Pereslid and Shipenko’s participation represents an improper, if not illegal, use of public funding from Russia.
Anyway, efforts helped to regulate the situation and cease the critics’ behavior.