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Russian Film Crew Has Arrived at Space Station: Live Updates

As an actress, Ms. Peresild, has performed in some 70 roles onscreen, and Russian movie publications have named her among the top 10 actresses under 35 years old. She may be best known among Russian moviegoers for “Battle for Sevastopol” (2015), in which she played the role of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the deadliest Red Army female sniper during World War II.

But her prominence alone wouldn’t have been enough to secure her a seat to orbit: She was picked for the flight from some 3,000 contestants in a two-stage selection procedure that involved both tests of creativity and a stringent medical and physical fitness screening.

What movie are they making on the space station?

The movie’s working title is “The Challenge,” and it’s about a surgeon, played by Ms. Peresild, who embarks on an emergency mission to the space station to save an ailing cosmonaut’s life. Few other details about the plot or the filming aboard the station have been announced, although NASA said on Tuesday that Mr. Novitsky, one of the Russian astronauts currently aboard the station, will play the role of the sick cosmonaut.

The crew, using hand-held cameras both on board the capsule and in the space station, started filming scenes for the movie as the spacecraft approached the outpost, Rob Navias, a NASA spokesman, said on the livestream.

Why are they making a movie in orbit?

For “The Challenge,” cinematic storytelling may take a back seat to the symbolism of shooting a movie in space. The production is a joint project involving Russia’s space agency Roscosmos; Channel One; and Yellow, Black and White, a Russian film studio.

Like a lot of private missions to space these days, Channel One and Roscosmos hope the film can prove to the public that space isn’t reserved for only government astronauts. One of the production’s core objectives is to show that “spaceflights are gradually becoming available not only for professionals, but also for an ever wider range of interested persons,” Channel One said on its website.

Mr. Rogozin , the Russian space agency leader, said he hopes the mission will make “a truly serious work of art and a whole new development of the promotion of space technologies,” in order to attract young talent to Russia’s space program.