UK company to launch world's first movie studio in space

The entertainment studio would be open for artists to film and live stream content

Sandra Bullock was attached to multiple wires in the film Gravity to simulate the zero gravity effect. Alamy

A UK company has unveiled plans to launch the world's first movie and entertainment studio in space for actors, media and influencers.

Space Entertainment Enterprise, the same company that is co-producing Tom Cruise’s film in space, announced the ambitious plans on Thursday, which involves launching an entertainment module, or structure, on the International Space Station

Expected to launch in 2024, the content creation studio called SEE-1 will allow actors, content creators, musicians and artists to film or live stream their content in microgravity.

“SEE-1 is an incredible opportunity for humanity to move into a different realm and start an exciting new chapter in space,” Dmitry Lesnevsky, co-founder of Space Entertainment Enterprise, said.

“It will provide a unique, and accessible home for boundless entertainment possibilities in a venue packed with innovative infrastructure which will unleash a new world of creativity.”

A rendering of the SEE-1 movie studio that will be launched to the International Space Station in 2024. Photo: Space Entertainment Enterprise

It is not clear how many people at a time the structure would be able to host.

All astronauts and private passengers are required to undergo training before a space mission. Most short stays on the station require training for six months to one year.

Axiom Space, a private space infrastructure company in the US, will build the space studio module.

Axiom has plans to launch its own commercial module that would become an independent station once the ISS retires.

The movie studio module would dock with Axiom’s station once it is launched in 2024.

Dr Michael Baine, Axiom’s chief engineer, said the content creation venue would showcase the space environment in an “unprecedented way”.

“The inflatable module design provides for around six metres diameter of unobstructed pressurised volume, which can be adapted to a range of activities, including an on board state-of-the-art media production capability,” he said.

Apart from building space stations, Axiom has been contracted by US space agency Nasa to send private crews to the space station.

It has bought rides on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and is launching its first private astronaut mission in March.

The company could also be involved in sending Hollywood actor Tom Cruise and his movie director to the space station.

“From Jules Verne to Star Trek, science fiction entertainment has inspired millions of people around the world to dream about what the future might bring,” Richard Johnston, chief operating officer of Space Entertainment Enterprise, said.

“Creating a next generation entertainment venue in space opens countless doors to create incredible new content and make these dreams a reality.”

The new plans follow the development of a so-called new space economy that is seeing a greater involvement by private space companies building their own infrastructure in space and launching private astronaut missions.

Last year, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin announced plans to build Orbital Reef, a commercial space station in low-Earth orbit that would act as a mixed-use business park.

The business model involves easy access for customers who could use the space station for different requirements, including researchers, manufacturers, media and tourists.

Blue Origin is also leading the way in space tourism flights, having launched 14 space tourists so far on its suborbital flights.

Some of these passengers include Mr Bezos himself, Star Trek actor William Shatner and Good Morning America host Michael Strahan.

NanoRacks, Lockheed Martin and Voyager Space had also announced their own private space station, called Starlab.

It would house up to four astronauts, with plans for the start of operations by 2027.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX sent Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the space station for a 12-day stay last year.

Russian space agency Roscosmos sent an actress and a film director to the ISS last year to film a movie, beating Hollywood to make the first movie in space.

Five planned space stations for tourists and astronauts — in pictures

Updated: January 21, 2022, 12:36 PM