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Film crew shot 30 hours of footage on trip to space station

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Moscow — A Russian film crew was getting reacclimated to life on Earth on Tuesday after a landmark first-ever motion picture shooting session aboard the International Space Station. The crew returned safely to Earth on Sunday after spending 12 days on the ISS shooting scenes for the movie.

Actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko landed in Kazakhstan early Sunday morning and were still undergoing rehabilitation in the Star City space training center near Moscow on Tuesday.

Both of them participated in a news conference on Tuesday, and Shipenko revealed that the crew had managed to record about 30 hours of material while in space — about 30 minutes of which he said would likely make it into the final cut of the movie, which has the working title "The Challenge."

Actress Yulia Peresild is seen on October 19, 2021, during a broadcast of a news conference with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and filmmaker Klim Shipenko after completing their space mission.  / Credit: Getty Images
Actress Yulia Peresild is seen on October 19, 2021, during a broadcast of a news conference with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and filmmaker Klim Shipenko after completing their space mission. / Credit: Getty Images

The plot, which has been kept largely under wraps — along with its budget — revolves around a surgeon, played by Peresild, who's sent to the ISS to help save a cosmonaut.

The shoot was not without setbacks. As the film crew approached the space station earlier this month, the flight commander was forced to dock their Soyuz spacecraft manually due to a system malfunction. Days later, flight control conducted a test on the spacecraft before its flight back to Earth and the ship's thruster fired unexpectedly, destabilizing the ISS for about half an hour.

Peresild, being helped from the Soyuz descent module after touchdown. / Credit: Roscosmos/NASA
Peresild, being helped from the Soyuz descent module after touchdown. / Credit: Roscosmos/NASA

The movie will be in production until the end of next year, according to Shipenko, who said he believed it would be a box office hit, destined for international release.

If the project stays on track, the movie will beat a Hollywood production announced last year by NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX, starring Tom Cruise, to the silver screen. If it does, it will be another notable first in space for Russia.

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