Space tourism and cinematic ambitions underway as Japanese billionaire and Russian actors head to the ISS before Tom Cruise

ISS Space Tourism and Film Making
Tourism and Movies to go to actual space. Pic credit: WikiImages/Pixabay

The International Space Station (ISS) should welcome a few people this year. Incidentally, they aren’t highly trained soldiers or pilots.

Space tourism and cinematic endeavors could break new grounds this year. A Japanese entrepreneur and billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, and a couple of members of the Russian film industry are reportedly planning a trip to the ISS.

Russia to send actor and director in space to shoot the first movie in space, beating the U.S. and Tom Cruise?

Russia’s space agency has claimed it will send an actor and a director to the ISS in October 2021. The intention is to make the first feature film in space.

Roscosmos, the official Russian Space Agency, said: “Filming will take place at the International Space Station. The start of the expedition is scheduled for 5 October 2021 from the Baikonur cosmodrome on the Soyuz MS-19 manned transport spacecraft.”

Actor Yulia Peresild, 36, and director Klim Shipenko, 37, will head to the ISS. However, before their journey, the duo will undergo intense training to prepare them for the rigors of space and zero gravity.

Incidentally, Roscosmos will also document the training sessions and broadcast the same on Russia’s main TV channel, Channel One. Dmitry Rogozin, the director-general of Roscosmos, will co-produce the feature film.

The official reason is Russia wants to “popularise Russia’s space activities, as well as to glorify cosmonaut profession”. However, several social media users claim Russia wants to beat the United States of America. NASA had confirmed that it would work with Tom Cruise to make a movie aboard the ISS.

Japanese entrepreneur to become the first tourist to visit the ISS?

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese entrepreneur and billionaire, has indicated he will visit the ISS as a private astronaut this December. Yusaku will go as a client of Space Adventures.

The Japanese entrepreneur and his production assistant Yozo Hirano will be onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. The rocket will take off from Kazakhstan on December 8. Just like the Russian members of the film fraternity, Yusaku too will undergo training in Russia.

The Japanese billionaire has also indicated that he plans to take a trip aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon on a round-trip flight passing the Moon. However, this journey is in 2023.

Space tourism isn’t a new endeavor. Space Adventures has taken Anousheh Ansari in 2006, Guy Laliberté in 2009, and a few others to space as part of the growing space tourism industry.

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