One month since the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch relay began its journey across Russia, a Russian rocket entered the cosmos Thursday carrying the torch, ahead of the first-ever spacewalk.
Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, commander of the ship, will pass the Sochi 2014 torch to Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky, who will take the unlit torch on a spacewalk Saturday November 9. It will then return to Earth Monday local time, with three departing space station astronauts.
The torch will not burn onboard the space outpost because lighting it would consumer precious oxygen and pose a threat to the crew. The crew will carry the unlit torch around the station’s numerous modules before taking it out on a spacewalk.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee said, “Russia was the first country to send a man into space, and today we are making Olympic history by sending the Olympic Torch into space for the first time. This feat underlines incredible human capabilities and will symbolize the aspirations of all athletes from around the world to reach new heights in sports”.