Oct. 17 marked the return to Earth of the first-ever film crew to film a movie in space.

The Russian flim crew began the journey on a Soyuz MS-19 on Oct. 5. Cosmonaut and pilot Anton Shkaplerov was accompanied by critically-acclaimed actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko.

For almost two weeks, they shot footage for their new movie, “The Challenge,” mostly on the Russian side of the International Space Station. A few scenes were also shot on the American side, most notably at the cupola.

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The film is about a doctor who is sent on an urgent mission to the International Space Station to treat a cosmonaut who has suffered a heart attack. Peresild is set to play the doctor and a handful of other cosmonauts and astronauts will make an appearance as well.

This journey marks a victory for Russia in this latest space race, beating Tom Cruise — backed by NASA and SpaceX — who was set to film a new movie aboard the International Space Station in the coming months. The Russian group even moved the launch forward to beat Tom Cruise to space, but his flight was delayed until early 2022.

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Peresild and Shipenko’s trip comes as commercial space flight is becoming a more common sight in our society. Just last Wednesday, William Shatner — most famous for his role as Captain Kirk in “Star Trek,” — became the oldest person to travel to space at the age of 90 on board a Blue Origin space shuttle.

The film is not shot entirely in space. But still, with 30 to 40 minutes of screen time occurring in space, the film serves as a pivotal moment in a new era of filmmaking, breaking barriers that seemed unfathomable just a few years ago. 

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The crew did not in the same shuttle. Instead, they are returning in a Soyuz MS-18 capsule, piloted by cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, leaving the MS-19 docked at the ISS for another return. They landed in the Kazakh Steppe just around on midnight on Sunday.