NASA TV Coverage Set for Russian Film Production Launch

The Soyuz MS-18 rocket is launched with Expedition 65 NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Roscosmos cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy, Friday, April 9, 2021, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of a Tuesday, Oct. 5 launch that will carry a Russian cosmonaut, actress, and film producer to the International Space Station, where they will film segments for a movie. The launch will mark the expansion of commercial space opportunities to include feature filmmaking.

Making his fourth flight into space, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov will join actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko for the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:55 a.m. EDT Oct. 5 (1:55 p.m. Baikonur time). Their Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft will make a fast-track, two-orbit journey to dock to the station’s Rassvet module.

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Russian Government Allocates $60.6 Million for Future Soyuz Tourist Flight

The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft is seen as it lands in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan with Expedition 62 crew members Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan of NASA, and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, Friday, April 17, 2020. Meir and Skripochka returned after 205 days in space, and Morgan after 272 days in space. All three served as Expedition 60-61-62 crew members onboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/GCTC/Andrey Shelepin)

The Russian government has allocated $60.6 million (4.4 billion rubles) to the Roscosmos subsidiary Glavkosmos to produce a Soyuz 2.1a rocket and Soyuz MS spacecraft for a space tourism flight scheduled for 2024, according to Space Daily.

Glavkosmos head Dmitry Loskutov said in May that the company was already in talks with potential space tourists and was simultaneously working on putting together a reserve of Soyuz spaceships to make the first tourist flight possible in late 2023.

Now that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is carrying astronauts to the station, Russia has restarted spaceflights for paying customers. On Oct. 5, the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft will carry Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko to the International Space Station (ISS). Peresild and Shipenko will shoot scenes for a movie titled, “Challenge,” during a spaceflight lasting 12 days.

On Dec. 8, the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft will carry Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, and Maezawa’s assistant Yozo Hirano to ISS on a 12-day spaceflight.

Russia Switches to Year-Long Space Station Missions, Doubles Up on Tourist Flights as NASA Gravy Train Ends

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin has said that Russia will extend cosmonaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from six to 12 months in order to gather data needed for missions to the moon and Mars.

“We are talking about stable operations that will be carried out as part of yearly expeditions. Now this will be placed on a systemic basis with the corresponding system of biomedical researches. Year-long expeditions are what we need,” Rogozin said.

Well, that sounds good. Far sighted, even visionary. That’s what makes it so odd; these are not words normally associated with the Roscosmos boss. Something else seems to be going on here.

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Glavkosmos Offers Spacewalks, Capsule Purchase to Space Billionauts

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Glavkosmos is offering space tourists the option of performing spacewalks from the International Space Station (ISS) and stays of up to 30 days aboard the orbital laboratory. They can even purchase the Soyuz space capsule that took them to and from the station.

The company, which is part of Roscosmos, recently upgraded its website to provide details of what paying customers can do when they book a trip to the station. The information is available in Russian and English.

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“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.

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