Back to gravity: Russians talk about world’s first space movie


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MOSCOW (AP) – A Russian actor and director who spent 12 days in orbit making the world’s first film in space said on Tuesday that they were so thrilled with their experience on the International Space Station that they were sorry to leave.

Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko flew to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov. After a visit to the station, they returned to Earth on Sunday with another veteran Russian cosmonaut, Oleg Novitskiy.

Peresild and Klimenko filmed segments of a film called “Challenge”, in which a surgeon played by Peresild rushes to the space station to rescue a crew member who needs urgent operation in orbit. Novitskiy, who brought the film crew home, stars as the sick cosmonaut in the film.

Speaking to reporters via video link on Tuesday, Peresild, 37, lamented that a busy filming schedule leaves little chance of enjoying the view.

“We only realized a day before the start that we weren’t spending enough time looking out the windows,” she said. “I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, it was like an eternity, but on the other hand, it was like we had just arrived and needed to come back immediately.

Peresild and Shipenko said they felt good but still struggled to adjust to the pull of gravity.

“We have to learn to walk again,” Peresild said, adding that she always instinctively tries to attach various objects with Velcro to keep them from flying off.

She said she slept very well in orbit and that four hours of sleep was enough to get a good rest.

Shipenko, 38, who has directed several commercially successful films, said she filmed more than 30 hours of cinematic material aboard the space station.

“Of course, this posed both artistic and technical challenges,” he said.

Shipenko, who will continue filming on Earth after filming the film’s space episodes, said the film’s release date will be announced next year.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russian state space company Roscosmos, was a key force behind the film project, describing it as a chance to restore the nation’s space glory and dismissing criticism from some Russian media over the efforts. .

Before Russia took the lead in making feature films in space, NASA had spoken to actor Tom Cruise about the possibility of making a film in orbit.

NASA confirmed last year that it was in talks with Cruise to film on the International Space Station with SpaceX providing the elevator. In May 2020, it was reported that Cruise was developing the project alongside director Doug Liman, Elon Musk and NASA.

Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press

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