"On October 5, an unusual crew will fly to the International Space Station.
Director Klim Shipenko and actor Yulia Peresild will spend a week and a half on
the station shooting scenes for the Russian movie Challenge
. Peresild plays a
surgeon who must conduct a heart operation on a sick cosmonaut.
This is an exciting — if controversial — development for the station, which
orbits around 400 km above Earth. Commercial use of its facilities could be a
funding avenue to keep it in orbit. A Japanese documentary and an American
movie, starring Tom Cruise, are also in the works.
The station consists of 16 modules locked together in a cross configuration.
There are six Russian modules in the Russian Orbital Segment, while the US
Orbital Segment consists of 11 modules run by the US, Japan, and the European
Space Agency. Spacecraft like the Soyuz and Dragon regularly dock with the
station to bring crew and supplies, and return others to Earth.
Usually there are between three and six crew living on the station. The main
work is scientific experiments, but as some parts of the station are over 20
years old, a lot of maintenance is also required.
Space stations in the movies are often very “space-agey” with futuristic
minimalist interiors. By contrast, the International Space Station is a mess,
more Red Dwarf
than 2001: A Space Odyssey
. There are cables everywhere,
walls cluttered with equipment, tools, food packages and notes, and over 6,000
objects lost by the crew.
, being the first (professional) space movie to be filmed in space,
raises a number of questions. Here are five on my mind."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics