Welcome to the ISS: Russian crew arrives at space station to make world's first movie in orbit

Welcome to the ISS: Russian crew arrives at space station to make world's first movie in orbit

A live broadcast on Russian TV showed the Soyuz spacecraft ascending into a cloudless sky.

A Russian actress and director on Tuesday arrived at the International space Station (ISS) in a bid to best the United States and film the first movie in orbit.

The Russian crew is set to beat a Hollywood project that was announced last year by "Mission Impossible" star Tom Cruise together with NASA and Elon Musk's spaceX.

Actress Yulia Peresild, 37, and film director Klim Shipenko, 38, took off from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan as scheduled. But they belatedly docked at the ISS at 1222 GMT after veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov switched to manual control.

"Welcome to the ISS!" Russia's space agency Roscosmos said on Twitter.

The crew travelled in a Soyuz MS-19 spaceship for a 12-day mission at the ISS to film scenes for "The Challenge." The movie's plot, which has been mostly kept under wraps along with its budget, was revealed by Roscosmos to centre around a female surgeon who is dispatched to the ISS to save a cosmonaut. Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS are said to have cameo roles in the film.

The ISS crew, which also includes a French, a Japanese and three NASA astronauts, will welcome the newcomers when the hatch opens at around 1410 GMT.

Space officials reported that the crew was feeling fine and all spacecraft systems were functioning normally.

"Launch as planned," the head of the Roscosmos space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Twitter. Led by veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, the film crew will travel in a Soyuz MS-19 spaceship for a 12-day mission at the ISS to film scenes for "The Challenge."

A live broadcast on Russian TV showed the Soyuz spacecraft ascending into a cloudless sky. "The crew is feeling well," Shkaplerov was heard saying in the broadcast several minutes after takeoff.

The movie's plot, which has been mostly kept under wraps along with its budget, was revealed by Roscosmos to centre around a female surgeon who is dispatched to the ISS to save a cosmonaut.

Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS are said to have cameo roles in the film.

The launch to film the movie "The challenge" puts Russia on course to beat the United States in the latest chapter of the space race. Actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko will reach the cosmos ahead of Cruise, whose plans to blast off on a SpaceX rocket for an as-yet-untitled Hollywood film were announced by Nasa last year.

Welcome to the ISS: Russian crew arrives at space station to make world's first movie in orbit
Russian film crew blasts off to make world’s first movie in space

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