- Russia’s space agency announced the winner of an open contest to send an actor to space.
- Yulia Peresild is due to take off for the ISS on October 5, the agency said Thursday.
- Russia could beat a plan by Tom Cruise to shoot the first feature film in space.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Russia’s space agency announced the winner of an open contest to send an actor to the International Space Station (ISS) this year.
Russia aims to launch the team on October 5, in a bid to be the first feature film shot in space.
Yulia Peresild, a 36-year old actor, is scheduled to launch the same month Tom Cruise was once slated to leave for the ISS to shoot a film with director Doug Liman.
Peresild was one of four finalists of an open audition run by Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. The announcement that she had won the competition was made on Thursday.
She has appeared in more than 30 movies, including patriotic feature films like “The Battle for Sevastopol,” where she played a young Soviet woman fighting for the Red Army, The Guardian reported.
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Peresild is due to start special space training – like centrifuge tests and parachute training – no later than June 1, Roscosmos said.
The training will be televised by one of Russia’s leading TV channels, Roscosmos said in a press release.
Two other finalists, Alena Mordovina, 33, and Alexey Dudin, 40, are also taking part in the training, and have been named backup actors for Peresild.
The movie, tentatively called “Vyzov” or “the Challenge,” will be a “space drama,” Roscosmos said. Few other details of its content exist.
Director Doug Liman plans to send Tom Cruise to the ISS for his own film. The actor was originally expected to launch with Axiom Space’s AX-1 mission in October.
But the crew members of that mission were announced in January, and Cruise was not among them. The AX-1 launch date has also been bumped to January 2022. It’s unclear whether Cruise is still slated to fly to the ISS.
The Roscosmos competition, launched last November, was open to professional and non-professional female actors.
Channel 1, the TV station running the contest, said in March it got 3,000 applicants and shortlisted 20 actors to undergo medical, physical, and psychological tests at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Space News reported on April 27.
Morgan McFall-Johnsen contributed reporting to this article.