The Russian team returns from filming the first feature film on the ISS

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Shooting for the first feature film in space wrapped. Espace.com reports Russian actress Yulia Pereslid, producer Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy have returned on Earth after the first two spent 12 days filming their movie The challenge aboard the International Space Station. The three left the ISS aboard a Soyuz spacecraft at 9:14 p.m. EST on October 16 and landed in Kazakhstan hours later at 12:35 a.m.

Pereslid and Shipenko arrived on October 5 thanks to an agreement between the Russian space agency Roscosmos, the Channel One television channel and the production studio Yellow, Black and White. Novitskiy had been there since April 9 as part of his regular duties, although he also played a key role – the film shows Pereslid as a surgeon making an emergency visit to the ISS for surgery the cosmonaut.

The filming required significant sacrifices for some of the ISS crew. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrovnik were originally scheduled to return aboard the Soyuz capsule, but both saw their stay extended by six months to accommodate film producers. Vande Hei will thus set the record for the longest space flight by an American astronaut, spending exactly one year in orbit. Pereslid also broke new ground as the first professional actor to visit space, beating William shatner about a week.

It will take some time before The challenge is ready to watch, and it’s safe to say that the production is aimed primarily at a Russian audience. It is a milestone for private uses of space, however, and hints at a future when Tom cruise and other stars frequently take to the skies to produce in-orbit shows.


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