Take-off took place, as planned and despite a strong wind, at 1:55 p.m. Baikonur time, against the sparkling blue sky of Kazakhstan. “A historic moment”, welcomed the Russian televisions, at the end of a long countdown launched from the cosmodrome which gave the thrill of a first step on the Moon.
For the first time in the history of the conquest of space, Tuesday, October 5, a film crew was sent into space to shoot the sequences of a feature film. Actress Yulia Peressild, known for her roles in patriotic films, and director Klim Chipenko, who will handle the camera, makeup and lighting, are scheduled to stay twelve days in the cramped space of the Russian segment of the Station. International Space (ISS). They will be accompanied by a professional cosmonaut, Anton Chkaplerov.
The final work, Vyzov (“The challenge”), will feature a doctor whose mission is to save a cosmonaut. The actress and the director, respectively 37 and 38 years old, trained for four months, just like their understudies, during a very staged preparation that took on the appearance of a race against the clock.
Since the launch of the project, its promoters have made no secret of their desire to speed up a similar American initiative. The Russian agency Roscosmos had suddenly revealed its ambitions in 2020, after the announcement of a filming project on board the ISS with the American actor Tom Cruise.
For the space agency, the main producer of this secret budget film, the feature film must restore a reputation tarnished by corruption scandals, serial failures and the loss of the lucrative monopoly of manned flights to the ISS, with the entry into the running of Elon Musk’s SpaceX company. If the agency multiplies the grandiose announcements, like the development of a specifically Russian space station, it most often does so without revealing a timetable or precise plans.
The project has also sparked controversy within the Russian scientific community. The agency’s manned flight program director Sergei Krikalev was even fired this summer for saying the money would have been better invested in space research and innovation.
Moment of communion
Asked about France Inter, the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet also expressed his skepticism, noting that one could do so realistic in the studio. However, it is under his command that the Russian mission will take place, Thomas Pesquet having taken up his duties as captain of the ISS for the first time, on October 4, for a period of thirteen days.
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