Other kinds of productions have been made in space in the past, like “Apogee of Fear,” an eight-minute science fiction film shot by Richard Garriott, a private astronaut, in 2008. Mr. Garriott, a video game entrepreneur, paid $30 million for his seat on a Soyuz spacecraft, which he booked through Space Adventures, a space tourism broker. The company is booking future missions to the space station aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.
Several feature-length documentaries have relied heavily on video shot aboard the station. “Space Station 3D,” a short 2002 documentary about the space station’s construction, was the first IMAX production filmed in space.
Are there other plans to film in orbit?
Tom Cruise may have plans to film something on the space station, but it’s unclear exactly when. Deadline, a Hollywood news publication, reported in 2020 that Mr. Cruise would fly to space aboard one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules for an action-adventure film directed by Doug Liman. Jim Bridenstine, who served as NASA’s administrator under President Donald Trump, confirmed the plans on Twitter at the time and lauded them as a chance to galvanize the public around space exploration.
Russia’s space agency announced its intention to send an actress to the space station shortly after Mr. Cruise’s plans emerged.
What problems have the Russians had with the space station recently?
Astronauts have been living aboard the space station, a science lab the size of a football field, for more than 20 years, and it’s starting to show signs of decay, particularly on the Russian side.
Several air leaks on the Russian segment of the outpost have been detected in recent years, although none have posed immediate danger to the station’s crew. Astronauts found a leak in Russia’s Zvezda service module last year by using tea leaves, and patched the leak with space-grade glue and tape. Another gradual air leak is ongoing, and its source has eluded Russian space officials.
And in July, Russia’s new science module, Nauka, carried out a chaotic docking procedure: Shortly after locking onto the station, the module’s thrusters began to fire erroneously, spinning the entire space station by one-and-a-half revolutions. None of the seven astronauts on board were harmed, but it was a rare “spacecraft emergency” that sent NASA and Russian officials scrambling to return the station to its normal orientation.
Valerie Hopkins and Oleg Matsnev contributed reporting from Moscow.