Olympic Torch Blasts Off For Space Walk (Video)

by
Sameera Ehteram
The video shows Russia sending the Sochi Olympic torch into space with a team of three astronauts bound for the International Space Station (ISS) ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.

The video shows Russia sending the Sochi Olympic torch into space with a team of three astronauts bound for the International Space Station (ISS) ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.

The torch, put off for safety reasons, blasted off aboard a spacecraft from the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan.

What’s more, two Russian cosmonauts are planning to take it for a space walk on Saturday.

The Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi is due to host the 2014 Games.

It'll be the first time an Olympic torch will have been carried out into open space, although it has been taken on space voyages aboard the U.S. space shuttle in 1996 and 2000.

The torch is due to come back down to Earth on Monday to continue its 65,000 kilometre relay.

While the red-and-silver torch, designed to evoke the feathers of a Firebird from Russian folklore, is taken outside the space station - 250 miles (400 km) above Earth - the flame will remain lit on the ground below.

As well as replacing the gas flame, Russian engineers have equipped the torch with a tether to keep it from floating out of the cosmonauts grip in weightlessness. "It was reworked ... so that it doesn't fly away," said Sergei Krikalev, head of the Cosmonauts' Training Centre outside Moscow.

As part of its 65,000-km (40,000-mile) relay, the torch has travelled to the North Pole on an atomic-powered ice breaker.

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