The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft carrying the crew formed of Kathleen Rubins of NASA, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos is seen before docking to Rassvet module of the International Space Station (ISS), October 14, 2020, in this picture taken by Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner from the International Space Station (ISS). Ivan Vagner/Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Russian space agency Roscosmos is looking to send an actress to the International Space Station in order to shoot the first movie filmed in space. 

The Russian space agency seeks to beat similar efforts undertaken by American actor Tom Cruise, who is working with Tesla CEO Elon Musk and NASA to film a movie in space. A NASA administrator stated he was excited to be working with Cruise on the film, adding “We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.”

Filming is slated to begin in fall 2021. Roscosmos posted requirements for possible candidates, noting the actress does not need to have professional acting experience, but must be able to meet specific physical requirements, including a “chest girth” of up to 112 centimeters. The final candidate will be put through a year of physical and psychological training to prepare for the rigors of working in space, and the shoot is projected to last 10 days. The agency announced the movie, titled “Challenge,” will be produced by Channel One Russia and the film studio Yellow, Black and White.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Russia seeks actress to send into space – in bid to beat Tom Cruise movie – Sky News – 11/5/2020
Perhaps unsurprisingly, only Russian citizens will be considered. As part of the initial screening, each applicant must also send a screen test in which they read Russian poet Alexander Pushkin’s famous letter from Tatyana to Eugene Onegin in his 1833 novel.

Russian actress to head to ISS in 2021 to star in first feature film in space – TASS – 11/6/2020
“This decision was made by the film producers in the interests of the plot. Earlier, the producers of the project planned to hold casting sessions both among male and female actors, having two versions of the scenario on hand. However, in the process of work and discussion, they came to the conclusion that a female character would certainly be more actable,” reads the report obtained by TASS.

Everyone on TV just wants to be launched into space – Washington Post – 11/6/2020
“Avenue 5″ is already the second show on this list to arrive from an acclaimed creator: Armando Iannucci, best known for the evergreen political satire “Veep.” His second series for HBO takes on a similar tone, lampooning corporate culture and bureaucracies through the lens of an interplanetary cruise ship that, after accidentally veering off course, has a three-year journey back to Earth but only eight weeks’ worth of supplies.

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