Russian film crew beats Tom Cruise in race to shoot first movie in space
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A Russian film crew is set to launch an actor and a filmmaker into space for the production of a feature film, beating out actor Tom Cruise in the process, The Associated Press reported.

Actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko are set to blast off with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov from the International Space Station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on Tuesday. 

The crew is planning to film scenes of a new movie called “Challenge,” which is about a surgeon flying to space to save a colleague who has a serious heart condition, according to the AP. 

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Peresild and Shipenko will return to earth with another cosmonaut after spending 12 days in space, the AP reported. 

“We worked really hard and we are really tired, even though we stay in good spirits and smile,” Pereslid said at a news conference on Monday. “It was psychologically, physically and morally hard. But I think that once we achieve the goal, all that will seem not so difficult and we will remember it with a smile.”

This comes as the crew beat out legendary actor Tom Cruise, who plans on heading to space in a Space X rocket for an as-yet-untitled Hollywood film later this year, according to Reuters.

Russia’s space industry has taken hard hits in the past few years stemming from numerous delays, accidents and corruption scandals. 

The U.S. has seen billionaires like Telsa founder Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskElon Musk warns SpaceX employees of bankruptcy risk if Starship engine production doesn't increase: report Microsoft CEO Nadella sells off nearly 0 million in shares of the company The dangers of anarchy in space MORE and Amazon founder Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosDorsey's exit shakes up Twitter future The dangers of anarchy in space Health risks of space tourism: Is it responsible to send humans to Mars? MORE developed their own space ventures, Reuters reported. 

The head of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said that making the world’s first feature film in space is a chance to raise the country’s space program prestige, the AP noted. 

“Movies long have become a powerful instrument of propaganda,” Rogozin said in June.