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films in space

Russia and the United States intend to create more films in space

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Key Highlights:

  • Russia and the United States are prepared to break new ground in space filmmaking.
  • Anton Shkaplerov, a trained cosmonaut, will lead the trip in space for the filming process.
  • Russia attempted a similar space movie expedition in 1998 but failed to gather the necessary funds.

Filming in Space

Russia and the United States are prepared to break new ground in space filmmaking in order to support the rising commercialization of orbital spaceflight and beyond.

Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, wants to send a Russian actress, filmmaker, and cosmonaut to the International Orbit Station early next month to shoot the first full-length feature film made in space, dubbed The Challenge.

Klim Shipenko, a Russian film director, and actress Yulia Peresild will spend 12 days in orbit, 10 of which will be spent filming.

The premise is a thriller about a doctor (Peresild) who travels to the space station unexpectedly to treat a dying cosmonaut. Peresild and Shipenko also trained quickly for their assignment, reflecting the script’s urgency.

Russia nearing space-film project

Anton Shkaplerov, a trained cosmonaut, will lead the trip, which will be the first in decades to have three Russian nationals flying together.

Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted in May 2020 that actor Tom Cruise will go to the space station for a movie, prompting Roscosmos to announce the voyage. However, no date has been set for a Cruise mission.

“As the cost of launches lowers owing to competition from businesses like SpaceX and Blue Origin, more and more movies and videos will be filmed in space,” said James Neihouse, a long-time IMAX movie cinematographer who has taught astronauts to shoot films in orbit.

“The issue is, do you really need to go to space for filming if you have a good story?” According to Neihouse. “There are so many wonderful films made with CGI, and by employing airline flights to imitate zero gravity, it may not be required to send actors to space for up to $60 million per seat.”

Meanwhile, NASA has begun intensive preparation to demonstrate potential Artemis lunar trips through the use of several high-definition cameras.

While there is no set launch date for the Artemis missions, Russia is nearing the start of its film project. The mission is set to launch on the Russian Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome on Oct. 5 at 4:55 a.m. EDT.

Russia’s previous attempt and Netflix’s ongoing documentary

Russia attempted a similar space movie expedition in 1998 but failed to gather the necessary funds, according to Jeffrey Manber, CEO of Houston-based space firm Nanoracks and a former employee of Russian space corporation Energia.

According to Kaylin Land, a Russian Studies course instructor at McGill University in Montreal, Roscosmos apparently wants to show a reality TV series about preparing Peresild and Shipenko for a spaceflight.

That would be comparable to an ongoing Netflix documentary on the training and experiences of the all-civilian SpaceX Inspiration4 crew, who completed a nearly three-day orbit around the Earth on September 18.

Also Read: New Space Race for the Moon Intensifying

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