Certain scenes of the film The Challenge is being shot in International Space Station !

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian film crew docked at the International Space Station on Oct. 5 after a short flight from Earth to begin a 12-day movie shoot in orbit. After a four-hour trip, the Soyuz linked up with the space station at 8:22 am EDT. The successful launch started from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft carried director Klim Shipenko and Russian actress Yulia Peresild to the ISS. The spacecraft was commanded by veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov

Six or seven astronauts can be there at ISS at any given time, although 13 crews have been accommodated before. Most astronauts spend six months at ISS, and in very rare situations, astronauts will stay for a year. The following 12 days will be spent by Peresild and Shipenko shooting scenes for a space film called “The Challenge” on the station. They joined seven other crew members who were already there in ISS.

The fast-track rendezvous sent the spacecraft on a two-orbit trip around Earth to reach the ISS. The spacecraft was also expected to dock itself at the Earth-facing Rassvet module on the station.  Still, there was a communications issue and Shkaplerov was forced to take manual control of the capsule to dock the spacecraft.

During the approach, many films scenes were shot. In the end, it is said to be dramatic. The ISS was flying over the Philippines when the spacecraft docked.¬†According to NASA spokesperson Rob Navias said, “So the Soyuz MS-19’s safely at the port, and a Russian actress and her producer-director are on set at the International Space Station for 12 days of movie-making.”

During the welcome ceremony on the ISS, Peresild received a congratulatory call from famed cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. She was the 1st woman in space in 1963, on the Vostok 6 mission. Valentina said it was highly emotional for everyone, and she was very proud of the crew. She further said everything should go nominal and may all the dreams of Peresild come true and will wait for her to return on Earth.

Before boarding the station, Peresild and Shipenko said in a brief exchange with the ground control that they enjoyed the sunrises and sunsets they saw during the flight. Peresild plays the role of a surgeon. The surgeon is sent to ISS to treat a cosmonaut who suffered a heart attack during a spacewalk.  The ailing space traveler will be played by cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky. When outside the Russian segment of the station, the two flight participants will have to be escorted.

From aboard the ISS, the approach of the Soyuz capsule was filmed by Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov. Both are expected to appear in the film. On October 17th together with Novitsky, the filmmakers will return to Earth. Novitsky is wrapping up a month-long trip to ISS. The missions of Dubrov and American astronaut Mark Vande who arrived with Novitsky in April, Hei, to accommodate the film project, had to extend by six months. With Shkaplerov they are expected to return in April. Vande Hei’s space trip will be the longest with this extension of all American astronauts in history.

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