On Oct. 5, 2021, Russia will launch a film crew to the International Space Station for a 12-day mission to film part of a movie in space.
Soyuz MS-19 crew members (from left) Yulia Peresild, Anton Shkaplerov and Klim Shipenko will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, riding on a Russian Soyuz rocket. Here, the crew poses for an official crew portrait at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia.
Click through this Space.com gallery to see photos of the crew and learn more about their unusual mission to the International Space Station.
Anton Shkaplerov (center) is the only Roscosmos cosmonaut launching on the Soyuz MS-19; Yulia Peresild (left) and Klim Shipenko (right) are filmmakers who will be filming part of a movie called "Challenge" during their 12-day stay.
The two filmmakers are set to return to Earth on Oct. 17 on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy commanding the capsule. Meanwhile, Shkaplerov will remain at the orbiting lab for six months. Shkaplerov will serve as the commander of Expedition 66, returning to Earth on the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft in March 2022, together with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov.
Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, commander of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft, poses with the Soyuz crew capsule at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center near Moscow.
Because Shkaplerov will be the only person piloting the spacecraft — normally the other two passengers are trained flight engineers — the Soyuz had to be modified with a new portable console to give Shkaplerov access to all the controls.
Director Alexey Dudin (left), cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev (center) and actor Alena Mordovina (right) are the backup crew for a scheduled Oct. 5, 2021, launch toward the International Space Station.
The prime and backup crews for the Soyuz MS-19 mission to the International Space Station pose for a photo. From left to right are prime crewmembers Klim Shipenko, Yulia Peresild and Anton Shkaplerov; and the backup crewmembers are actor Alena Mordovina, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev and cinematographer Alexey Dudin.
Roscosmos cleared two actors, Yulia Peresild (left) and Alena Mordovina (center), as a crewmember and backup crewmember for the Soyuz MS-19 launch. Galina Kairova (right) entered the competition and was not chosen, but Roscosmos said it has invited her to continue the selection process for joining its cosmonaut corps.
The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket that will launch the Soyuz MS-19 mission is pictured during transport from the assembly and test building to the launch complex of site No. 31 at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The stunning Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket, which will carry the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft to the International Space Station, transitions from the test building to the launch complex.
The Soyuz carrier rocket rises up on the service column at the Baikonur cosmodrome.
The Soyuz carrier rocket stands at the ready, prepared for the upcoming launch to the International Space Station.