Olympic Torch in Space


On Nov. 7, the "Soyuz TMA-11M" spacecraft, which took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome carrying crew members Koichi Wakata (Japan), Richard Mastracchio (USA) and commander Mikhail Tyurin (Russia), successfully docked at the International Space Station (ISS). Mikhail Tyurin had the honorable mission of taking the Olympic Torch into orbit.
Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky had been waiting on the International Space Station for the Olympic guest for over a month. They welcomed the Soyuz team on board the ISS, where the astronauts took part in the Olympic Torch Relay and carried the unlit Olympic Torch throughout the entire station.
To top off the event, Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazan tried their hands as space torchbearers: They went out into open space, holding the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch. After passing it to each other, they completed a symbolic stage of the relay and gave it a truly cosmic scale. The Olympic Torch spent more than an hour in open space.
The Olympic Torch will come back soon in the hands of cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, who along with the team that completed most of the work on board the ISS, will bring the Torch back to Earth on the "Soyuz TMA-09M" spacecraft and immediately give it to representatives of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee upon exiting the capsule. The space Torch has another important mission: It will light the Cauldron in Fisht Olympic Stadium, thus marking the start of the XXII Olympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi on 7th February 2014.