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Russian Spacecraft Carrying Actress, Director Returns To Earth After Filming On ISS

Yulia Peresild is seen outside the Soyuz capsule after its return to Earth in Kazakhstan on October 17.
Yulia Peresild is seen outside the Soyuz capsule after its return to Earth in Kazakhstan on October 17.

A space capsule carrying a cosmonaut and two Russian filmmakers has landed in Kazakhstan, ending their 12-day trip to the International Space Station (ISS), according to the Russian space agency Roskosmos.

The Soyuz capsule returned to Earth on October 17 just hours after separating from the ISS with Oleg Novitskiy, Yulia Peresild, and Klim Shipenko aboard.

Peresild, a famous Russian actress, and Shipenko, an award-winning film director, arrived at the ISS on October 5 for a 12-day stay to film segments of a drama titled Challenge.

Peresild said she felt a touch of melancholy as she left the ISS.

“I’m feeling a bit sad today. It seemed that 12 days would be a lot, but I did not want to leave when everything was over,” Peresild said on state TV. "Clearly, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

The transfer to the medical tent was delayed for about 10 minutes while crews filmed Peresild and Novitskiy in their seats, scenes that are to be included in the movie.

In the movie, a surgeon played by Peresild rushes to the space station to save a crew member who needs an urgent operation in orbit. Novitskiy, who plays the ailing cosmonaut in the movie, is returning to Earth after six months aboard the ISS.

The film is a joint project of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, Russia’s Channel One, and the Yellow, Black and White studio. Overall, about 35 to 40 minutes of the film’s screen time were to be filmed in orbit.

Roskosmos has said the aim of the movie is to make the industry more appealing to young people. Critics, however, say the project was expensive and that the money would have been better spent on research.

Seven astronauts remain aboard the space station: Shkaplerov and fellow Russian Pyotr Dubrov; Americans Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough, and Megan McArthur; Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency; and Aki Hoshide of Japan.

Based on reporting by AP

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