Russian Actress and Producer Dock in Space for 12-Day Cosmic Movie Shoot

A Russian actress and film producer arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, where they have plans to film the first movie in orbit.

Actress Yulia Peresild, 37, and producer Klim Shipenko, 38, joined cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, 49, on a Soyuz MS-19 spaceship, which took off from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan. After rounding the Earth twice, the capsule approached the ISS, where Shkaplerov took over the vehicle’s controls to manually dock the spaceship.

Peresild and Shipenko will reside on the station for 12 days, during which they will film scenes for an upcoming movie titled The Challenge. The film’s plot centers on a Russian doctor, depicted by Peresild, who is sent to space in order to treat a sick cosmonaut.

Shkaplerov will live on the station through the spring while conducting research for Russia’s space company, Roscosmos, and aiding production on site. Additionally, Shkaplerov will play a minor role in the film, along with two other Russian cosmonauts — Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov — who were previously residing on the station.

The Challenge will become the first feature-length fiction movie shot in space, beating out an unconfirmed joint project between Elon Musk‘s SpaceX and NASA that was said to feature Tom Cruise.

Elsewhere, Star Trek actor William Shatner is headed to space with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. 
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