MOSCOW – A film crew has reached the International Space Station (ISS), for the world’s first effort to make a feature film in space.
Russian actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko took off on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday at 08:55 GMT.
A live broadcast from Russian space agency Roskosmos and Russian state television showed the Soyuz rocket soaring into the cloudless sky. The crew of the space capsule could also be seen.
“Everything is going normally,” the flight control center reported. After more than three minutes, the rocket reached Earth orbit.
The Soyuz MS-19 rocket, with the film crew and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov on board, reached the ISS by express flight, docking 3 hours and 37 minutes after launch.
“Then the hatch opened at (3:00 p.m. GMT) and three Russian teammates entered the station, bringing the population to 10,” a post said on the ISS’s Twitter account.
Immediately after docking, filming was to begin, as Peresild said before launch.
According to Roskosmos, 12 days are scheduled for filming. The film is tentatively titled Vysov (Challenge) and will tell the story of a doctor, played by Peresild, who must fly to the ISS to save the life of a cosmonaut who has fallen ill.
According to Russia, it is the first feature film to be shot in the cosmos and not in studio sets on Earth. The United States is also planning to shoot a movie there, but no date has yet been set.
The Russian film project is also a documentary on the space industry and the cosmonaut profession.
Peresild and Shipenko were to return to Earth with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy on October 16, the U.S. space agency NASA said, while Shkaplerov will remain on the station until next March.