hit tracker
Sunday, October 1, 2023
HomeLatest NewsCosmonaut Oleg Novitsky on the filming of the film "The Challenge": "I...

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky on the filming of the film “The Challenge”: “I liked being an actor, but in general I have the best profession in the world”

Date: October 1, 2023 Time: 15:18:16

Oleg Novitsky and his characteristic smile. Photo: Oleg Novitsky / Roscosmos

Oleg is a former military, Hero of Russia with three space flights to his credit. But while filming on the International Space Station, the movie “Challenge” plunged into a completely different life for him. During the flight of the film crew to the ISS, Oleg was on an orbital expedition. And he became one of the actors of the artistic image. Also, he played one of the main roles!

Oleg Novitsky in childhood. Photo: Oleg Novitsky family archive

– The ISS is quite full. When the film was being shot, what was it like for you to live and work with five of us at once in the Russian segment? Three cosmonauts, you, Pyotr Dubrov, Anton Shkaplerov and the film crew, Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko?

– The working day was built in such a way that no one interfered with anyone. If the filming took place in the Zvezda module (the main module of the entire ISS, – editor’s note), then those who did not participate in the filming worked in other modules.

Oleg Novitsky in the Su-25 in Budyonnovsk on Regimental Day 2019. He lived there for 10 years while serving at an Air Force base in the North Caucasus. Photo: Oleg Novitsky

But we did not just disperse – no one canceled the experiments and planned the work during the filming. This did not always suit Klim as a director and cameraman: the ISS moves in orbit every second, the light from the windows changes. As a result, we first had to remove part of the frame equipment, cover the portholes and build the light. Then record some takes. Then turn all the lights back on, get the retracted equipment off the shelves so we can get to work. And repeat all over again to make new shots. Somehow Julia managed to remember how everything is in different modules in the frame and put all the “props” in front of the next shot as they were before. Amazing ability!

Making a cast for the shoot. Photo: Oleg Novitsky

– The trauma of your character in the film becomes the beginning of the plot. How realistic is this situation? Is it really possible?

– The participation of fiction in the plot of the film is present. We explained it to the writers on stage when we first read the script. The fact is that the basis of the Orlan spacesuit is a steel shell, which covers the entire body. I don’t know what to hit with to seriously injure myself in a space suit. This was a little trick. But it doesn’t spoil the plot.

Oleg with Yulia during the post-flight rehabilitation period. Photo: Oleg Novitsky

What did you like the most about filming?

– I understood that I was not just playing a role in a movie, this is a state task. I liked acting in the film, it was very interesting to try the role of an artist.

Oleg Novitsky brought the “film crew” to Earth. They are located in front of the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur. Photo: Roscosmos

Are you thinking of becoming an actor? While you were on the ISS, Shipenko actively called you to continue filming.

– That’s only what the correspondents ask, no one else. I have the best job in the world, to which I give myself everything without leaving a trace. And I’m going to work on it for quite some time! Now, if they call me to shoot in space again in the second part of the movie, then I’ll agree.

“Film crew”, astronauts and cosmonauts in a joint photo during dinner. Photo: Roscosmos

In general, it turned out that it is not so important that you have never prepared yourself as an artist. When you play yourself, you function in a familiar environment, then everything works. Thanks to Klim and Yulia, their skill, their educational programs in acting, we have mastered the basic understanding of what to do and how to behave in the frame at one time or another. At the same time, everyone consulted with each other what exactly should have looked believable on the screen. We listened carefully to Yulia and Klim, and Yulia and Klim listened carefully to us.

Yulia pushes Oleg in the film “Challenge”. Photo: Central Association

Oleg on a makeshift operating table from the dining room table in the movie The Challenge. Photo: Central Association

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov attends operations in the movie “Challenge.” Photo: Central Association

– During filming, you gave your cabin to Yulia Peresild – They say she’s the best…

– As for my “captain’s” cabin – Yulia had to store accessories somewhere, make up somewhere, tune in before filming. And in my cabin there is a porthole: before going to bed you can look at the Earth and fall asleep with these views of our blue planet. I moved into the Nauka module during filming: the module is new, it has a new, quiet and comfortable cabin. But I gave Yulia the best of the season.

Three crews on the ISS. Photo: Julia Peresild / Roscosmos

— How do you assess the “Challenge” project in general?

— I think it is a titanic work. So many factors had to come together for everything to work out that one wonders how probability theory did not collapse.

At the same time, at the Cosmonaut Training Center they were able to prepare people who are far from space and technology for flight in record time. And this is a very valuable experience. I am absolutely sure that astronautics will follow in the footsteps of aviation to eventually give more and more people the opportunity to fly into space.

Yulia Peresild, Oleg Novitsky and Alena Mordovina (alternate). Photo: Julia Peresild


An emergency occurred at the orbital station during a spacewalk – a man (Oleg Novitsky starred in his role) was seriously injured. It cannot be returned to Earth in this state; he will not survive overload. On Earth, a doctor (Yulia Peresild) is urgently being prepared for flight to provide assistance directly in orbit.

Director Klim Shipenko also acted as a cameraman for space filming. In the role of astronauts – real astronauts. In the role of a space station: a real ISS in orbit 440 km above the Earth. The film includes around 50 minutes of actual footage in space.

Participants of the “Challenge” and employees of the CTC. Photo: Julia Peresild / Cosmonaut Training Center. Yu. V.Gagarina


You can pull out a tooth and make injections right into the orbit.

Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov prepares to fly on Elon Musk’s Crew Dragon reusable spacecraft in August. Meanwhile, he maintains a blog that tells a lot of interesting things about the “behind the scenes” side of the astronaut’s work. Here, for example, is what is known about medicine on the ISS.

Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov prepares to fly on Elon Musk’s Crew Dragon reusable spacecraft in August.

Half of the ISS astronauts and astronauts have medical training. Such a space nurse or nurse can perform:

– CPR – the ISS even has a defibrillator;

– suture the wound or put a dropper;

– give injections or install a urinary catheter (in microgravity conditions on the station, this is much more difficult to do than on Earth);

– install a dental filling (and even pull a tooth!) and much more.

All these things are immediately reported to the Mission Control Center – the doctor on duty is always in touch and can advise you. If the situation is very serious, then the astronaut can return to Earth quickly. Or, like in the movie “The Dare”, send a doctor into orbit. In the event of the death of an astronaut during the flight, the early return of both the crew and the body will be arranged in a similar way.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

Most Popular

Recent Comments