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Russian Film Crew Safely Returns from ISS

Credit: Unsplash

The crew spent 12 days filming a new movie.

While there have been no shortage of movies set in the dark depths of space for about as long as movies have been a thing, the idea of actually filming in space was completely untenable. After all, it’s space. It’s literally the least hospitable place in the known universe, hardly conducive to a stressful movie shoot. But a few filmmakers around the world have still worked up the courage to try, and thanks to the existence of the International Space Station, they have at least one conceivable filming location.

Over the weekend, a Russian film crew, including actress Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko, and consulting cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, safely touched back down on the Earth after spending nearly two weeks aboard the ISS. The crew was getting footage for their upcoming film The Challenge, the premise of which being that a famed surgeon needs to shoot up to the ISS to perform critical surgery on a dying cosmonaut. On Saturday, the crew successfully landed in the Kazakhstan desert aboard a Soyuz MS-18 vessel.

“The descent vehicle of the crewed spacecraft Soyuz MS-18 is standing upright and is secure. The crew are feeling good!” wrote Russian space agency Roscosmos, who is a sponsor on the project.

Even after the crew landed, though, they immediately had to set the cameras back up in order to film the movie’s ending, where the surgeon is greeted upon his safe return. According to the New York Times, the film’s producer had to corral the actors and staff in a hurry in order to keep everyone from launching into an impromptu landing party.

“Guys, please, let us do some shooting,” the producer said. “Please, do not do any filming on your smartphones. Do not take any videos, because right now, this is actually the future end of the movie.”

No word yet on when the movie will be finished, but if they can get it done before Tom Cruise visits the ISS to shoot his planned movie, they’ll get quite an impressive leg up over Hollywood.