Soyuz MS-18 Crew Returns to Earth

Soyuz MS-19 Departs ISS. Photo: NASA TV

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, actress Yulia Peresild, and director Klim Shipenko landed in Kazakhstan yesterday. Novitskiy was in space for 191 days; Peresild and Shipenko were there for 12. The crew’s Soyuz MS-18 undocked from the ISS at 9:14 ET on Saturday night and landed just after midnight. 

Unexpected plot twist: Due to unintentional MS-18 thruster firing, the ISS briefly lost attitude control. NASA mission control told astronauts to start emergency procedures, the NYT reported this weekend. While everything ended up okay, a similar event occurred in July due to inadvertent and unexpected thruster firing on Russia’s Nauka module. 

  • Roscomos issued a statement this weekend, saying “the station and the crew are in no danger.” 
  • A NASA spokesperson echoed the sentiment: “The crew was never in any danger.”
  • Behind the scenes, the space agencies are working to identify the root cause of the issue. 

Back on Earth…We’re waiting with bated breath for Vyzov (translation: Challenge), the space docudrama starring Peresild. She plays a doctor who must perform emergency heart surgery on a cosmonaut in microgravity. Shipenko aimed to shoot 35-40 minutes on the ISS. We’re curious to see what percentage of the final film is footage from space. 

While there are still many first to be had in space, “first feature film shot in space” is officially in the record books. Russia has earned bragging rights over Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman, who are also ISS-bound, would-be space filmmakers. No launch date for the Americans has been announced.