The crew returned from their 12-day trip to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday. The Soyuz MS-18 craft, piloted by seasoned Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, and carrying actress Yulia Peresild and filmmaker Klim Shipenko, touched down safely in Kazakhstan.
Shortly after the spacefarers emerged from the capsule, they were met by RT, seeking the first comments on their trip. All stages of the spaceflight, from training to landing, were thrilling, if different, experiences, Shipenko told RT’s Konstantin Rozhkov.
“The flight [into space] was so exciting! Waiting for the flight – the ceremonies, the festivities, everyone seeing us off – those emotions are one thing. But when you return with a sense of accomplishment, and you enjoy all these g-forces, the plasma burning outside the window – it’s like a parting gift,” Shipenko said.
The landing went smoothly, and none of the crew had experienced any adverse effects, the filmmaker added. The spacecraft used for the mission was modified specifically to be operated by a single professional cosmonaut. Regular Soyuz spacecraft are operated by two personnel: a commander and an engineer.
“The guys aren’t professionals, but they completed a very good training course. Without them, it would have been difficult to perform a full, regular descent at all. They participated in the flight, helped me in my work, and I’m very grateful to them,” Novitsky told RT.
Peresild, the star of upcoming movie ‘The Challenge’, was asked by RT’s correspondent whether she thought she’d now played the role of her life.
“We’ll see about that!” the actress replied.
It takes time to get accustomed to Earth’s gravity, Peresild said, when interviewed on a flight back to Moscow.
“While you’re in low gravity, you feel like a feather, so everything’s very heavy now – my head’s very heavy, my arms, my legs… Everything’s a little dizzy,” she explained.
The film crew’s pioneering flight was a collaboration between Russia’s television Channel 1 and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, with RT providing special coverage for the mission. The goal of the flight was to shoot scenes for ‘The Challenge’, which is largely set in space. While the plot of the movie is shrouded in secrecy, it’s known to revolve around a medical doctor, portrayed by Peresild, who travels to space to perform life-saving surgery on an incapacitated cosmonaut.
The mission was praised by Russia’s space agency boss, Dmitry Rogozin, who said it provided the agency with valuable experience in training amateur cosmonauts. The success of the film crew’s flight has shown Roscosmos is “unrivaled in terms of training people who, until recently, were not seeking to fly into space,” Rogozin told RT.
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