On Tuesday a Russian actress and film director docked with the International Space Station (ISS) in a bid to outdo America, by filming the first movie in orbit. The Russian crew is scheduled to kick off a Hollywood project launched this year, jointly with NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, by “Mission Impossible” actor Tom Cruise.
The film’s director, Klim Shipenko, launched from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan along with actress Yulia Peresild along with experienced cosmonaut, Anton Shkaplerov.
The narrative of the film, which has been kept mainly under wraps along with its funding, has been disclosed by Roscosmos to be focused on a female surgeon who is sent to the ISS to save an ailing cosmonaut. Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS are rumored to appear in the film as extras. The ISS crew also comprises of a French, a Japanese, and three NASA astronauts.
Modern Russia has failed to innovate in comparison to the Soviet period, and its space sector is struggling for public support as the Kremlin prioritizes military investment. Its space program is still dependent on Soviet-designed equipment and has seen a number of failures, including corruption scandals and failed launches. Russia is also slipping behind in the global space race, where it faces stiff competition from the United States and China, with Beijing demonstrating rising ambitions in the field.
Roscosmos was also struck a blow when SpaceX successfully carried people to the ISS last year, thereby ending Russia’s monopoly on flights to the orbiting station. Russia’s space program said this year that it will resurrect its tourism program to take fee-paying explorers to the International Space Station in an effort to improve its image and diversify its earnings.
— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) October 7, 2021
After a decade-long hiatus, Russia will send two Japanese visitors, including millionaire Yusaku Maezawa, to the International Space Station in December, closing off a year that has been a watershed moment for amateur space flight.
SpaceX conducted the first all-civilian flight to space last month, sending four untrained astronauts on a three-day loop around Earth’s orbit. Later this month, William Shatner, the 90-year-old actor best remembered for his depiction of Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series, will go to space on a mission with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin.