Story at a glance
- A Russian actor and film director blasted off to space Tuesday as part of a mission to film portions of a new movie.
- Actor Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov took off for their three-and-a-half hour flight to the International Space Station.
- The film, “Challenge” depicts in part a surgeon who is taken to a space station to operate on a crew member.
A Russian actor and film director blasted off to space Tuesday as part of a mission to film portions of a new movie and bolster the nation’s prestige.
Actor Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov took off for their 3-and-a-half hour flight to the International Space Station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft around 1:55 pm, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Russians “have been pioneers in space and maintained a confident position.”
“Such missions that help advertise our achievements and space exploration in general are great for the country,” he said.
Peresild and Shipenko spoke at a pre-flight press conference of the rigorous training process necessary to film a movie in space. The film, “Challenge,” depicts in part a surgeon who is taken to a space station to operate on a crew member, The AP noted.
“It was psychologically, physically and morally hard,” the 37-year-old actor said. “But I think that once we achieve the goal, all that will seem not so difficult and we will remember it with a smile.”
Shipenko and the film’s cast will complete the movie back on earth once the necessary footage is gathered in space, according to the AP.
The Russian crew’s flight adds to a growing series of firsts in outer space. Former Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company announced Monday that Star Trek legend William Shatner will be joining a flight on the New Shepard rocket Oct. 12. Shatner will become the oldest person to travel to space.
Aerospace pioneer Wally Funk — currently the oldest person to travel to space — joined Jeff Bezos and his brother, Mark Bezos, on the rocket’s inaugural flight in July.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” Shatner said.
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