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Why famous people fly into space and what they do there


Flight into space is a very expensive event that requires long preparation. Therefore, space tourists are mostly rich people who can afford long tests, a thorough medical examination and the purchase of a spacecraft ticket. But today the world is booming space tourism companies – not only businessmen but also actors, directors, doctors and professors are flying into orbit.

In early September 2021 in Russia, a crew with actress Julia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko was sent to the ISS, they will shoot the first feature film in weightlessness – “Challenge”. Tell us, who else of the famous people were in space? Why did they fly there?

Dennis Tito

Dennis Tito is considered to be the first space tourist. He graduated with a degree in space technology and astronautics, but began working in business and founded Wilshire Associates, an influential investment firm in the United States.

At first, the businessman offered NASA to send him into orbit, but he was denied, so he turned to Roscosmos. The flight cost $ 20 million and the preparation took eight months. Tito had to pass all medical tests, as well as physically prepare for the flight and have the skills to control a spaceship.

Jeff Bezos

Amazon and Blue Origin space founder Jeff Bezos flew into space, the first in the company’s history. The New Shepard spacecraft has crossed the conditional space boundary, crossing the Pocket Line, which begins after 100 km altitude. Bezos was accompanied on the same flight by the businessman’s younger brother, Mark, as well as 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk, and student Oliver Damon.

Before the flight, the whole team underwent training, which took 14 hours. Passengers listened to safety information, space flight simulations, inspected the rocket and studied the principles of its operation, as well as were instructed to move around the cabin in weightlessness.

Richard Branson

Billionaire, businessman and founder of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson also went into space on a VSS Unity rocket produced by his company.

The crew included five others: Virgin Galactic Chief Instructor Beth Moses, Senior Operations Engineer Colin Bennett, and Vice President of Government Relations Sirish Bundle, as well as two pilots, Dave McKay and Michael Masucci, the latter who had already flown the VSS Unity.

Despite this, it remains debatable whether the crew was actually in space. The fact is that there is no clear boundary of outer space, there is a conditional – the Karman line, which begins after 100 km altitude, but in the United States has historically considered the cosmic boundary height of 80 kilometers. So the ship was above 80 km, but below 100 km. Nevertheless, the passengers were still weightless.

Julia Peresild

Actress Julia Peresild flew to the ISS to make the world’s first film in weightlessness. The Soyuz-2.1a missile was launched on September 5, 2021.

Peresild is one of the most popular actresses in Russian cinema over the past few years, she starred in “The Battle of Sevastopol”, the series “Zuleikha opens her eyes”, “Gloomy River” and “Mediator”. To become the main character of the film, you had to undergo a thorough medical examination, check the vestibular apparatus, as well as withstand training in a pressure chamber. As a result of 3 thousand girls Julia Peresild got the role, and another participant – Alena Mordvinova – became a backup. Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov went to the ISS together with the actress and director. All three will participate in the shooting of the first feature film in space “Challenge”. His plot is based on the story of a female doctor who flies into orbit to save an astronaut. All shooting will take 12 days. But not all members of the space industry support the idea of ​​making a film on the ISS. According to cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, the ISS is a large laboratory in space, so “artists, clowns, tourists have no place there.”

Klim Shipenko

Klim Shipenko was a director in such films as “Salyut-7”, “Text” and “Slave”. It is noted that Shipenko became the tallest passenger of the Soyuz ship with a height of 189 cm. This is important because people up to 190 centimeters tall can fly on the ship. This is important for comfortable travel due to the small size of the rocket.

Shipenko, like the candidates for the lead role in the film, was examined and tested. If the results were unsatisfactory, the director would be replaced by doubler Alexei Dudin, who was the cameraman for the film “Time of the First”.

Roscosmos approved the world’s first film crew for a flight to the ISS as Vedomosti announced.

The crew, which includes actress Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, has been approved for flight to the ISS, according to the Roscosmos website. The film crew will kick off on October 5 to shoot in orbit the first feature film, tentatively titled The Challenge.

The State Commission for Flight Testing of Manned Space Complexes has approved the composition of the main and backup crews of the Soyuz MS-19 manned transport spacecraft. In addition, the readiness of the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle and ground infrastructure for the upcoming launch under the International Space Station program was confirmed.

The launch of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-19 manned spacecraft is scheduled for October 5, 2021 from the Baikonur cosmodrome, and the docking with the ISS Russian segment – two orbits after entering the target orbit. The planned duration of the ISS-66 crew is 174 days. The approximate duration of the work of space flight participants on the ISS is at least 12 days, the state corporation specified.

All selected candidates for the film crew underwent special training for space flight participants. The competition for the lead role in the film was announced last November. In March, 20 finalists were selected. Based on the results of medical and creative selection, it was recommended to appoint Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko to the prime crew. The backup crew includes cosmonaut Oleg Artemiev, cameraman Alexei Dudin and actress Alena Mordovina.

The feature film Challenge is a project of Channel One, Roscosmos and the Yellow, Black and White studio. This is part of a scientific and educational project in which it is planned to shoot a series of documentaries about the enterprises of the rocket and space industry.Civilian space flights have not yet become commonplace, but the number of private companies and projects in the public sector is growing. Space ceases to be a sphere of scientific activity only, and excursions and films are made there. Therefore, in the future we will see how the space industry will become closer to ordinary people.


The European Times Info aims to cover news that matter to increase the awareness of citizens all around geographical Europe.

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