Russian actress flies to the ISS to make the first feature film to be shot in space

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A Russian actress has been chosen to star in an ambitious project that will be the first feature film to be shot in space.

Yulia Peresild, 36, will be sent to the International Space Station in October, the Russian space agency said Thursday.

With her will be director Klim Shipenko. Both will undergo special training, including centrifuge tests and zero-gravity flights starting no later than June 1.

‘Filming is taking place on the International Space Station. The expedition is scheduled to start on October 5, 2021 from the Baikonur cosmodrome on the Soyuz MS-19 manned transport statement, ” Russia’s Roscosmos said in a statement.

Yulia Peresild (left), 36, will be sent to the International Space Station in October, the Russian space agency said Thursday. [File photo]

She was put through a series of grueling open auditions before being cast.  Pictured: Peresild (left) at Thursday's press conference

She was put through a series of grueling open auditions before being cast. Pictured: Peresild (left) at Thursday’s press conference

Peresild is a stage and film actress.  She made her screen debut on the TV series Country in 2003 and broke through in 2010 with a supporting role in The Edge, a film directed by Aleksei Uchitel. [File photo]

Peresild is a stage and film actress. She made her screen debut on the TV series Country in 2003 and broke through in 2010 with a supporting role in The Edge, a film directed by Aleksei Uchitel. [File photo]

Channel One, one of Russia’s main TV channels, will document Peresild and Shipenko’s pre-flight training. The channel is also involved in the production of the film.

The film’s working title is “ Challenge, ” and will fall into the genre of a “ space drama, ” Roscosmos said, without giving details of the film’s plot or Peresild’s role.

Roscosmos said in September that the aim of the film is to “popularize Russia’s space activities and glorify the profession of cosmonauts.”

The film is co-produced by Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency, with the ambition to make Russia the first country to make a feature film in space.

Last year, the US space agency NASA confirmed it will partner with actor Tom Cruise to make a Hollywood movie on the ISS. The cruise will also fly there in October.

Director Klim Shipenko (pictured) and Peresild will undergo special training, including centrifuge tests and zero-gravity flights starting no later than June 1.

Director Klim Shipenko (pictured) and Peresild will undergo special training, including centrifuge tests and zero-gravity flights starting no later than June 1.

Russian media manager Konstantin Ernst (left) and Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, made the casting announcement at a press conference on Thursday.

Russian media manager Konstantin Ernst (left) and Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, made the casting announcement at a press conference on Thursday.

Very little is known about the American film other than the fact that Cruise will take care of it, with director Doug Liman accompanying him on the ISS to film the scenes in space.

When casting for the Russian film began in November, hopefuls were given a series of grueling open auditions.

The woman sought was between 25 and 45 years old with a ‘chest circumference up to 44 inches’ and the ability to flawlessly recite a poem – Pushkin’s letter from Tatiana to Eugene Onegin.

The announcement of the Russian film amounts to a race in the space film with the West, battling against a project by NASA, Elon Musk and Tom Cruise.

Producers planned to cast for male and female actors, but the script made more sense on a woman, according to a report by the Russian news agency TASS.

“ We are looking for a woman who would be able to act on Earth, then endure the most demanding preparation, go to space and there in a state of gravity to solve the most complicated film problems, ” said the Russian general. producer Alexey Trotsyuk.

“This is the first time our studio has faced such a demanding task, so we need to find not just an actress, but a real superhero.”

The announcement of the Russian film amounts to a race in the space film with the West, competing against a project by NASA, Elon Musk and Tom Cruise, which will also be filmed on the ISS in October (photo).

The announcement of the Russian film amounts to a race in the space film with the West, competing against a project by NASA, Elon Musk and Tom Cruise, which will also be filmed on the ISS in October (photo).

Peresild will have to take off in the 'vomit comet' - a plane that simulates weightlessness for seconds to prepare for the microgravity of the ISS

Peresild will have to take off in the ‘vomit comet’ – a plane that simulates weightlessness for seconds to prepare for the microgravity of the ISS

After winning the role, Peresild will now have to train at a cosmonaut school and be approved by flight commissioners.

She had to prove her sporting prowess, have a higher education and no criminal record to be on the shortlist of 30 finalists.

In November it was reported that a protagonist would be selected separately and also go into space.

Peresild is a stage and film actress who briefly studied philology in the city of Pskov before moving to Moscow to act.

She made her film debut on the TV series Country in 2003 and broke through in 2010 with a supporting role in The Edge, a film directed by Aleksei Uchitel, with whom Peresild has two daughters.

In 2015, Peresild played the real Soviet sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko in the biographical war movie Battle for Sevastopol.

EXPLAINED: THE $ 100 BILLION INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SITS 250 MILES ABOVE THE EARTH

The International Space Station is a $ 100 billion (£ 80 billion) science and engineering laboratory orbiting the Earth.

It has been permanently manned since November 2000 by changing crews of astronauts and cosmonauts.

Research on board the ISS often requires one or more of the unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit, such as low gravity or oxygen.

ISS studies have explored human research, aerospace medicine, life sciences, natural sciences, astronomy and meteorology.

The US space agency NASA spends about $ 3 billion (£ 2.4 billion) per year on the space station program, a level of funding endorsed by the Trump administration and Congress.

A US House of Representatives committee overseeing NASA has begun to explore whether the program should be extended beyond 2024.

Alternatively, the money could be used to accelerate planned human space initiatives to the Moon and Mars.

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