Russia’s space agency said Thursday it was sending an actress and a director to the International Space Station in October to make the first feature film in space.
Moscow is seeking to boost its embattled space programme, which has stagnated since the Soviet Union under corruption and been overtaken by US tech billionaire Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.
“Filming will take place at the International Space Station. The start of the expedition is scheduled for October 5, 2021, from the Baikonur cosmodrome on the Soyuz MS-19 manned transport spacecraft,” Roscosmos said in a statement.
The Russian “space film”, titled “Challenge,” will feature popular Russian actress Yulia Peresild, 36, and Klim Shipenko, a 37-year-old director and actor, Roscosmos said.
Their pre-flight training according to Roscosmos, will be documented by one of Russia’s main TV channels, Channel One, which will also be involved in producing the film.
Actress Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko, is expected to start special training, including tests on a centrifuge and flights in zero gravity, starting no later than 1 June.
Roscosmos said in September the movie will aim to “popularise Russia’s space activities, as well as glorify cosmonaut profession”.
The film will be co-produced by Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency, with the ambition of making Russia the first country to shoot a film in space.
The space agency also announced plans to take Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the ISS in December, resurrecting its space tourism program in the face of US competition, cited from phys
Maezawa, 45, who made his fortune in online retail, said he planned to document the mission and share it with the world on his YouTube channel with over 700,000 subscribers.
“I’m so curious ‘What’s life like in space?’ So, I am planning to find out on my own and share with the world on my YouTube channel,” Maezawa was quoted as saying by Roscosmos.
Roscosmos said Maezawa would make the flight from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with production assistant Yozo Hirano aboard a Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft that is scheduled for December 8.
Last year, US space agency NASA confirmed that it will be teaming up with actor Tom Cruise to make a Hollywood movie on the ISS.