New Delhi: The Russian film The Crew set to shoot their first feature film in space have docked at the International Space Station after flying for more than three hours aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. The official Twitter account of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, confirmed that the crewed Soyuz MS19 spacecraft docked in the Russian segment of the International Space Station after making two orbits around Earth.
Roscosmos tweeted: “Welcome to the ISS!”.
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying actress Yulia Pereslid and director Klim Shipenko, as well as cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, docked at the ISS on Tuesday at 12:22 GMT (17:52 IST), according to an AFP report.
Since the spacecraft was unable to dock automatically, manual docking mode was followed, Russian news agency TASS reported. This was done thanks to the TORU system, which is the remote control mode (of the spacecraft). The TORU system is the manual docking system for the Soyuz spacecraft.
Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov used manual mode, which delayed docking the spacecraft in the Rassvet module, according to the Roscosmos Livestream. The Soyuz probe docked with the ISS on Tuesday at 12:22 GMT (5:52 p.m. IST).
The crew will stay at the ISS for 12 days to shoot the first live-action film in space, “The Challenge”. The film is a joint project of Roscosmos, Channel One, and the Yellow, Black and White Studio, and is based on the life of a female doctor who must go into orbit to save the life of a cosmonaut. Yulia Pereslid will play the role of the doctor, and three Russian cosmonauts – Anton Shkaplerov, Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrovnik will also be on the set. Actress and director Klim Shipenko had to undergo intensive training as early as May of this year at the Cosmonaut Training Center in order to be ready for this mission.
The water tightness of the mooring will be checked by the ISS crew. In addition, the crew will equalize the atmospheric pressure between the ISS and the spacecraft. Once the procedure is complete, the hatch will be opened around 2:10 p.m. GMT (7:40 p.m. IST) and the crew aboard the Soyuz probe will join the Expedition, 65 crew, on the ISS.
During the docking Livestream, NASA said the actress and director will visit the U.S. segment of the space station, as well as the Cupola Panorama Dome Module while filming the movie aboard the ISS. The narrator added that scenes will be filmed in the dome, which is an observatory based at the European Space Agency.
Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin told TASS that they will organize real space surgery training and the film will become a tribute of gratitude to doctors during the pandemic.
Oleg Novitskiy will return Pereslid and Shipenko to Earth aboard a Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft on October 17. However, Shkaplerov and Dubrovnik will remain on the space station for 174 days.