Russian film crew completes filming of space station and returns to Earth

A Russian actress and director landed safely on Earth early Sunday after spending 12 days aboard the International Space Station shootin...


A Russian actress and director landed safely on Earth early Sunday after spending 12 days aboard the International Space Station shooting scenes for the first feature film made with scenes shot in space.

Yulia Peresild, the actress, and Klim Shipenko, a director, launched into space with a Russian astronaut on October 5 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They used the orbital laboratory as one of the main sets for their film “The Challenge”, a drama in which Ms. Peresild plays a surgeon embarking on an emergency mission to save the life of a sick cosmonaut.

The 12-day trip, supported by Russian space agency Roscosmos, was the final act in a race between space countries to spark public enthusiasm for manned spaceflight and demonstrate that destinations like the space station are not exclusive to government astronauts. The mission also adds another superlative to Russia’s record for space flights over the United States: beating Hollywood in orbit.

Ms Peresild, Mr Shipenko and Oleg Novitsky, a Russian astronaut who has been on the station since April and played the film’s sick cosmonaut, bid farewell to the station’s seven-person crew on Saturday. The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft that brought them back to Earth undocked at 9:14 p.m. EST. The crew’s return trip took about three hours before landing at 10:35 a.m. local time in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan’s Karaganda region.

In live footage released by the Russian space agency, helicopters from search and rescue teams circled the area where the astronauts were due to land, and mission controllers urged the crew to “prepare” and leave. prepare for landing. Under a large parachute, the capsule hit the ground, sending a cloud of dust.

“They landed vertically, great guys,” said a Russian mission controller, suggesting the capsule had not landed in a way that could make it harder for the crew to exit.

The Russian space agency said that the crew felt good prior to their release from Soyuz, and would undergo a 10-day rehabilitation to help recover from the effects of life in the low Earth orbit microgravity environment.

Filming began when the film crew arrived in space. Mr. Shipenko filmed scenes using hand-held cameras inside the capsule of another Soyuz module as he approached the station. When he docked, Piotr Dubrovnik, one of the Russian astronauts on the space station, waited behind a large digital cinema camera as the crew exited their capsule and floated around the station for the first time. And on Saturday, filming continued as the crew exited the station and boarded their capsule. Few details on the plot of “The Challenge” have been announced.

But the drama on the station became real on Friday when it was tilted out of its position in orbit during a thruster test on the capsule that transported the film crew to Earth. Mr Novitsky had tested the engines, Roscosmos said, but they fired longer than expected, a NASA statement said. The station, which is the size of a football field, was tilted 57 degrees out of position, according to Russian mission control officials cited by Interfax, a Russian news agency.

The incident prompted Russian and NASA officials to act, and they corrected the station’s positioning within 30 minutes. This was the second such emergency since July, when the new Russian module Nauka accidentally triggered its thrusters, moving the station a turn and a half – about 540 degrees – before it stops upside down.

What caused the problems with the spacecraft’s thruster on Friday did not happen again when the film crew and Mr. Novitsky left the station on Saturday night.

“The Soyuz is in good condition, has been declared ready to take over undocking and landing tonight, and everything is in order for departure,” NASA spokesman Rob Navias said during a live broadcast of the process.

The Russian space agency last year announced plans to send an actress to the space station shortly after plans emerged that Tom Cruise would take a trip to space as part of an action-adventure film directed by Doug Liman. Jim Bridenstine, who served as a NASA administrator under President Donald Trump, confirmed plans on Twitter at the time, but no updates on the film project have been released since then. Other International Space Station-centric entertainment projects may emerge in the years to come, including a Discovery Channel reality TV contest titled “Who Wants To Be An Astronaut?”



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Newsrust - US Top News: Russian film crew completes filming of space station and returns to Earth
Russian film crew completes filming of space station and returns to Earth
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