Olympic Torch Takes Its First Spacewalk

Olympic Torch Takes Its First Spacewalk

In a view from Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy’s helmet camera, flight engineer Oleg Kotov waves the Olympic torch outside the International Space Station during a November 9 spacewalk.

The torch taken on the spacewalk will be used to light the flame at the Olympic Games in February 2014 in Sochi, a Russian resort city on the Black Sea. The torch was taken into space in 1996 and 2000 but had not previously been taken outside the space station. While in space, the torch remained unlit.

Since the beginning of its journey in Moscow on October 6, bearers have carried the Olympic flame to the North Pole and will bring it to Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus, in the longest torch relay before any Winter Games.

The torch was taken November 7 to the space station, a project supported by 15 nations, by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, American Rick Mastracchio and Russian Mikhail Tyurin.

On November 11, a Russian spacecraft returned the torch (and three astronauts) to Earth, landing in central Kazakhstan.

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