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Space race 2: Russian actor bound for ISS in same month as Tom Cruise

• https://www.theguardian.com by Catherine Shoard

The space race appears set for a relaunch following the news that Russia is to send an actor and director to the International Space Station in October, with the ambition of making the first feature film in space.

The crew are scheduled to begin their expedition on 5 October 2021. While on the space station they could encounter some fellow film-makers: Tom Cruise and the director Doug Liman, who are also due to travel there in October to make a movie.

The exact date of Cruise's blastoff has not yet been revealed, but the departure of the Russians in the first few days of the month suggests an intention to beat the Americans.

Russia was first reported to be mounting a rival production last year, shortly after plans were confirmed last summer for Cruise, who will be 59 at the time of his mission, to go into low Earth orbit, backed by Nasa and Elon Musk.