Though the dazzling lights of Hollywood may be better known for taking audiences on wild, fantastical journeys, it is, of course, not the only ambitious film industry on the planet. With the recently announced news of new film, Challenge, Russia is sending their actors and crew to space to make the world’s first movie in orbit.
Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko have already blasted off to the International Space Station in a Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft, along with astronaut Anton Shkaplerov. Launching from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 5th October at 9:55am BST, the craft arrived approximately three hours later.
The film itself, called Challenge, for the time being, follows Peresild as a surgeon who is sent to a space station to save a crew member in need of a major operation. As the first-ever film to be shot in orbit, Challenge also represents a significant victory for the Russian Roscosmos space programme.
Speaking at a pre-flight interview, Peresild said: “It will not be on the same level as on Earth, but we will do our best. We are ready for it…It is a bit too late to be afraid because we’ve come so far, there is Baikonur ahead and a lot of things [to do] and to be honest, there is just no time left for fear”.
Getting there shortly before Hollywood could, Tom Cruise and Elon Musk had previously looked to collaborate with NASA to shoot a movie in orbit in the near future, directed by The Bourne Identity’s Doug Liman. Originally planning to launch into space in October 2021, there have been few updates on this project since Cruise confirmed in September that he had spoken with several SpaceX crew members to learn of their successful experiences.
Take a look at the footage below of the Russian team, courtesy of The Guardian.