While private companies are already flying into space in the United States, Russia is sending an actress and director into orbit.
On Tuesday, the Soyuz spacecraft launched from Baikonur to shoot the first space feature film.
According to Roskosmos, the film should promote “the popularization of Russia’s space activities and the glorification of the cosmonaut’s profession.” Roscosmos director Dmitry Rogozin credits the film, of which he is a co-producer, with a strong propaganda goal.
What is the movie about
The working title of the picture is Challenge. Cardiac surgeon Evgenia, played by Yulia Peresild, is tasked with operating on the heart of an astronaut on the space station. The astronaut suffered a heart attack in space and would not have survived the flight back to Earth.
True, former cosmonauts immediately criticized the script for being unrealistic. “From the point of view of surgery, the maximum at the station is you can sew up a vessel, sew on a skin flap. No abdominal surgery, no serious vascular surgery, no neurosurgery,” said former cosmonaut Oleg Kotov.
For the creators of the Challenge, it was especially important to get ahead of Tom Cruise’s American space film project, which was supposed to begin on the ISS this fall, but filming was postponed. In the Russian Federation, they immediately began to talk about the Russian-American competition for the championship in space.
“For this you have to pay a price that can hardly be expressed in numbers. originally were supposed to return on October 17 with the previous capsule Soyuz-MS 18, they will remain on the ISS for six months longer, “the article of the German edition says. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The priority of the film project over the scientific goals of cosmonautics was criticized even in Roscosmos: the head of the manned space flight program Sergei Krikalev, the only former cosmonaut in the department’s leadership, was removed from his post in June after criticizing the Challenge. But after Krikalev was supported by fellow cosmonauts, Rogozin reinstated him in his post. The political functionary with no experience in space apparently did not want to lose even more support among the respected Russian cosmonauts.
The real state of affairs
On the other side of the film, Russian cosmonautics is lagging behind the cosmonautics of its major rivals from the United States. From the end of 2020, American astronauts no longer depend on Soyuz capsules, but can use private American rockets to fly to the ISS. Elon Musk’s Space X has also supplanted Roskosmos in the commercial satellite launch market. Rogozin regularly tries to divert attention from this by poking fun at Musk on Twitter, and seeks to move closer to China in plans to create a station on the moon. But Roscosmos is considered Beijing’s junior partner. He is hardly making headway in his own designs. The Russian space agency does not attract talented youth: although Rogozin earns more than the head of American NASA, specialists and scientists earn little in Roscosmos. The agency now and then flickers in negative headlines, as, for example, in July, when the ISS tilted dangerously after docking with the Russian research module Nauka, in which the engines spontaneously turned on. Construction of this module began in 1995 and was due to be completed in 2007, but delays have repeatedly occurred.
According to Roskosmos, the Russian segment of the ISS from 2024 can only be used with “additional risks” due to the fact that it is outdated. Russia wants to leave the ISS and build its own space station, in which Rogozin promises to make a “module for tourists” to catch up in the struggle for wealthy space travelers. However, only old Soyuz spacecraft can still be launched from the new, Far Eastern Vostochny cosmodrome. Other launch sites have not been completed, and even President Vladimir Putin has already pointed out that many billions of rubles allocated for construction have flowed into corruption channels, but no measures followed. According to investigations by anti-corruption fighters, Rogozin and his family bought up many real estate objects in Moscow and the Moscow region, and this property cannot be explained by the declared income. However, such revelations do not cause much harm to the head of Roscosmos.