“The Challenge” Movie Crew Begin Preparations for Trip to ISS at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center

Yulia Peresild

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On Monday, the crew of the feature film tentatively titled “Vyzov” (“The Challenge”) began preparations for the flight to the International Space Station in October at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (CTC). Director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild started training, together with their backups Alexey Dudin and Alena Mordovina.

Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov will be commander of the ISS-66 prime crew, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev is his backup. The crew commanders have already started training, as the cosmonaut who will take the film crew to the ISS will have to stay there and carry out his immediate duties for six months.

The director and actress will go into orbit as spaceflight participants for a much shorter period. According to preliminary data, the film crew of the “The Challenge” will stay at the International Space Station for less than two weeks. Their preflight training program differs from the training plan for professional cosmonauts, but includes elements that are mandatory for all crew members.

“We are starting to train the ISS-66 crew. For the first time, the functions of space flight participants will be performed by our fellow citizens. The preparation will be carried out on a tight schedule. I am sure that the specialists of the CTC will cope with this task, ”said CTC acting head Maxim Kharlamov.

“I have experience in filming a movie on a space theme and some idea of ​​the device’s structure,” said Shipenko, who directed the drama “Salyut-7”. “We are ready to start preparing and we hope to master the required amount of knowledge.”

Peresild supported her colleague and admitted that she will have to learn everything from scratch.

The movie crew will get acquainted with the design, on-board systems, and equipment of the Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft and the Russian segment of the International Space Station. They should know the way the spacecraft and the station crew activities are organized, study the emergency actions algorithm (depressurization, fire, atmospheric toxicity). In addition, the actors and directors will be prepared for possible emergencies that may occur during the landing of the ship in different climatic and geographical zones.

Training is planned on the Il-76 MDK airplane laboratory offering short-term weightlessness conditions to train the skills necessary for spaceflight. The training process includes biomedical and physical aspects. Before leaving for the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the prime and backup crews will take part in complex examinations.

“The most important thing is that they are mentally and physically ready to start classes and trainings. There is a goal, there is an understanding of the process. There is no doubt that the crew will be trained. We have the best instructors in the world and they are in a positive mood,” said mission commander Anton Shkaplerov.

The Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft with “The Challenge” movie crew on board is to launch in October 2021.