Olympic torch blasts into space for 1st spacewalkPublished 10:23am Thursday, November 7, 2013
MOSCOW — A Russian rocket soared into the cosmos Thursday carrying the Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts to the International Space Station ahead of the first-ever spacewalk for the symbol of peace.
Video streamed by the U.S. space agency NASA reported a flawless docking with the space station about six hours after the craft blasted off from Russia’s manned space facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
The unlit torch for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi is to be taken on a spacewalk Saturday, then return to Earth on Monday (late Sunday EST) with three departing space station astronauts.
The arriving crew members Thursday were Russia’s Mikhail Tyurin, American Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata of Japan.