View Mobile Site

Olympic torch taken on first spacewalk

MOSCOW — An Olympic torch took a spacewalk for the first time Saturday, carefully held by two Russian cosmonauts outside the International Space Station as it orbited some 260 miles above Earth.

Video streamed by NASA showed Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazanskiy carrying the unlittorch of the Sochi games, which bobbed weightlessly at the end of a tether in a darkness dotted by stars.

The two gingerly maneuvered to take photos of the torch against the background of the planet, the orb's edge glowing with sunrise.

They then returned it to the space station before continuing with other tasks on a spacewalk that was to last about six hours, including attaching a footrest and a camera platform to the exterior of the orbiting laboratory.

The torch was launched into space from the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday morning. It will return to Earth with a three-man crew on Monday.

The torch will not burn aboard the space outpost because lighting it would consume precious oxygen and pose a threat to the crew.

The Olympic torch was taken aboard the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis in 1996 for the Atlanta Summer Olympics, but this is the first it time it has been taken outside a spacecraft.

The Sochi Olympic flame started its relay on Oct. 7, four months ahead of the Winter Games, and it is to cover some 65,000 kilometers (39,000 miles). Most of the time the flame will be safely encased in a lantern.

On Saturday, the flame was somewhere nearly as cold and remote as the torch'stemporary residence in outer space — the Siberian city of Yakutsk.

Interested in viewing premium content?

A subscription is required before viewing this article and other premium content.

Already a registered member and have a subscription?

If you have already purchased a subscription, please log in to view the full article.

Are you registered, but do not have a subscription?

If you are a registed user and would like to purchase a subscription, log in to view a list of available subscriptions.

Interested in becoming a registered member and purchasing a subscription?

Join our community today by registering for a FREE account. Once you have registered for a FREE account, click SUBSCRIBE NOW to purchase access to premium content.

Membership Benefits

  • Instant access to creating Blogs, Photo Albums, and Event listings.
  • Email alerts with the latest news.
  • Access to commenting on articles.

Please wait ...