Cosmonaut hails Russia’s bid to shoot first feature film in orbit as ‘first step’ in new era for promotion of space exploration

A Russian space mission that has seen an actress and a movie-maker travelling to orbit to shoot a movie is a positive development both for both space exploration and the art of filmmaking, a renowned Russian cosmonaut has told RT.

“Every off-standard space mission that paves the way for similar flights in the future brings humanity closer to a better understanding of space development,” veteran cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko enthused, commenting on the unique mission.

Source: Roscosmos

On Tuesday, Russia launched a three-person team — consisting of a professional cosmonaut, an actress, and a movie maker — into orbit. The renowned Russian movie star, Yulia Peresild, film director Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov have since successfully docked with the International Space Station. Peresild and Shipenko are about to shoot the first-ever feature length movie while aboard a real space station orbiting Earth.

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Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild, and film director Klim Shipenko of the ISS Expedition 66 prime crew pose by a Soyuz-2.1a rocket booster at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. © Sputnik / Sergei Savostyanov
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Borisenko called the mission “the first step,” saying it will make similar missions possible in the future and greatly broaden the perspectives not just of space exploration but of filmmaking as well.

“This will be the first experience of professional shooting in a zero-gravity state,” and will likely be profoundly different from studio work or computer-generated imagery, he said.

He also believes the actress and director will overcome any challenges they face during the mission. The two received all the necessary basic training during a snap course, and are capable of taking care of themselves while in orbit, he said. For one thing, they will have to adapt to weightlessness – something that can’t be prepared for in advance while on Earth.

The period of adapting to weightlessness, which lasts several days after cosmonauts arrive in orbit, involves a kind of a ‘seasickness’, according to Borisenko. People in orbit also have to deal with the re-distribution of blood in their body, as blood from the legs is driven to the head. “You get the feeling as if you have almost been hanged upside down,” he said.

Borisenko, who has two space missions and over 337 days in orbit under his belt, believes that while space has become a little bit closer, routine space travel for everyone is not just around the corner.

“We won’t see any fully nonprofessional crews in another 30 or even 50 years,” Borisenko said. He also criticized the recent SpaceX mission that saw a crew of four amateur astronauts launched into orbit for three days in mid-September, comparing it to a “minefield walk” or “swimming with alligators.”

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“Space is a very hostile place for a human and technical systems have a bad habit of failing,” Borisenko said, adding that “in case of a serious emergency on board, a fully nonprofessional crew would be hardly capable of safely returning to Earth.”

One such emergency occurred when the automatic docking system failed as the Soyuz spacecraft was about to dock with the ISS. Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov had to dock the spacecraft manually and did so successfully. Had he not been on board, the mission would have ended in failure and the nonprofessional duo would have to return to Earth, Borisenko said.

“Space tourists will continue to fly to orbit but only as part of the crews, where at least one person is a professional,” the cosmonaut said.

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Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild, and film director Klim Shipenko of the ISS Expedition 66 prime crew pose by a Soyuz-2.1a rocket booster at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. © Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov
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