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Russian sends Olympic torch to outer space
November 7, 2013, 12:48 pm


The Soyuz-FG rocket and Soyuz-TMA spaceship blasted off at 8:14 am Moscow time (0414 GMT) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan [AP]

A Russian rocket has delivered the Sochi Olympic torch to the International Space Station (ISS) for a historic spacewalk on Saturday.

“Soyuz TMA-11M has docked the Rassvet small research module. After all docking operations are completed, the crews (of ISS and Soyuz) will open the hatches. This will happen at about 16:40 Moscow time (1240 GMT),” said mission control.

The manned spacecraft docked the ISS after the short-track flight which took four rotations around the Earth within six hours.

The rocket, crewed by Mikhail Tyurin of Russia, Rick Mastracchio of the United States and Koichi Wakata of Japan will enter the ISS and the torch will be handed to ISS Captain Fyodor Yurchikhin.

“It’s just an outstanding day and a spectacular launch. It is still a marvel to me when I see it,” NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, William Gerstenmaier was quoted by Reuters.

On Saturday, two Russian cosmonauts will take the Olympic torch into open space.

The Soyuz-FG rocket and Soyuz-TMA spaceship  blasted off at 8:14 am Moscow time (0414 GMT) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The torch will be taken back to Earth by three astronauts finishing their mission – it is due to touch down in Kazakhstan on Monday at 0250 GMT.

The 22nd Winter Olympic Games will start on February 7 next year.

Source: Agencies

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