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Sochi Olympic Torch Enters The International Space Station

posted 7 Nov 2013, 06:25 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 7 Nov 2013, 06:26 ]

A three-member Soyuz crew enters the International Space Station carrying with them the Olympictorch that will be used to light the Olympic flame for the 2014 Winter Games in SochiRussia.

IN SPACE (NOVEMBER 7, 2013) (NASA TV) -  Carrying the red-and-silver Olympic torch, a three-member Expedition 38 Soyuz crew floated into the International Space Station on Thursday (November 7) after a six-hour journey from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.

NASA's Richard MastracchioJapan's Koichi Wakata and Russia's Mikhail Tyurin join a six-member team at the Space Station.

The hatches opened between the Soyuz aircraft and the International Space Station at 0744 EST (1244GMT) as both vehicles were traveling south of Australia.

The torch was carried by Expedition 38 cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin who handed it over to Expedition 37 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin after entering the Space Station.

On Saturday (November 9), astronauts will take the torch out of airlock for a space walk.

For safety reasons, the torch will not be lit in what could be a relief for Russia after the flame went out several times since the relay began last month.

The Olympic torch has traveled to space twice before, in 1996 and 2000, but it has never been taken on a space walk.

The torch will be brought back to Earth by Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin, American astronaut Karen Nyberg and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano on November 11

The torch-bearing trio's arrival at the orbital station, a $100 billion project of 15 nations, swells its crew to nine people - the most on board the outpost since America's last shuttle mission in 2011.