Russian Film Crew 'Safely' Returns to Earth After Shooting First Movie in Space

A Russian crew comprising actor Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko and veteran cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy returned to Earth on Sunday after filming the first movie in space. They spent 12 days on the International Space Station (ISS).

The trio said farewell to the rest of the astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS and closed the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship hatch at 4:41pm ET on October 16. Their spacecraft undocked from the station at 9:14 p.m. and landed in a remote area outside the western Kazakhstan at 07:35 a.m. (0435 GMT) on Sunday, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

"The descent vehicle of the crewed spacecraft Soyuz MS-18 is standing upright and is secure. The crew are feeling good!" Roscosmos tweeted.

The Russian space agency said the crew would undergo a 10-day rehabilitation to help recover from the effects of living in the microgravity environment.

World's First Movie in Orbit

The film-makers took the space flight from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan earlier this month as they bid to outmaneuver Hollywood. The crew filmed segments for the movie 'The Challenge'- first feature film set in space.

The movie is about a surgeon played by Peresild, who is dispatched to the ISS to save a crew member who needs an urgent operation in orbit. Novitskiy plays the role of the ailing cosmonaut in the film. Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, cosmonauts aboard the ISS, are also said to have cameo roles.

Russian spacecraft blasts off to International Space Station
Russia's space mission blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) as they set course to shoot a movie in space. Twitter

The crew filmed scenes on both the Russian and international segments of the ISS, including the Cupola module.

Konstantin Ernst, the head of Channel One TV Network and a co-producer of 'The Challenge' told AFP that the landing sequence will also be documented and featured in the movie.

Peresild, who is best known for her role in the 2015 film "Battle for Sevastopol", said she had been sorry to leave the ISS, reported Reuters.

"I'm in a bit of a sad mood today," the actor told Channel One after the landing.

"That's because it had seemed that 12 days was such a long period of time, but when it was all over, I didn't want to bid farewell," she said.

If the project becomes successful, the Russian crew will beat a Hollywood project announced last year by 'Mission Impossible' star Tom Cruise together with NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX.