Accessibility links

Breaking News

Space Race? Russia Picks Cast For First Film To Be Shot On ISS, But NASA Launching Plans, Too

Actress Yulia Peresild speaks at the Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, near Moscow, on May 13.

Russia's space agency says a famous actress and an award-winning director have been picked to star in what is being described as the first fictional movie to be filmed in space.

Film director Klim Shipenko (file photo)
Film director Klim Shipenko (file photo)

Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko are scheduled to be launched on a Russian Soyuz MS-19 craft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 5 to be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS), Roskosmos said on May 13.

Training for the mission is to begin no later than June 1 and will include tests on a centrifuge, vibration tests, parachute jumps, and flights on a zero-gravity plane.

The drama, which has the working title Vyzov (Challenge), will tell the story of a female surgeon's mission to perform an operation on a cosmonaut too ill to return to Earth immediately, according to media reports.

Its co-producers include Roskosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin and Russian state-run Channel One television, which will make documentaries about the entire operation.

Channel One’s general director, Konstantin Ernst, said he expects the project will help Russians rediscover their "love and passion" for the human spaceflight program.

Peresild, 36, has starred in several big Russian dramas, such as The Edge and Battle For Sevastopol. She has been awarded the title Honored Artist of the Russian Federation.

The 37-year-old Shipenko directed a 2017 award-winning disaster movie set in space, Salyut 7. He is also an actor and playwright.

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

The Roskosmos announcement comes after NASA confirmed last year it was teaming up with actor Tom Cruise to make a movie at the ISS, which is orbiting the Earth at an altitude of some 350 kilometers. It was not yet clear when that movie would be shot.

In a related development, the Russian space agency also announced plans to send Japanese online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, 45, on a 12-day trip to the ISS in December.

Maezawa is to be accompanied by photographer and assistant Yozo Hirano and Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Misurkin.

Russia last sent a space tourist to the ISS in 2009.

With reporting by the BBC, RIA Novosti, and AFP
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.