Olympic Torch to go to Space
Russian astronauts will take an Olympic Torch into orbit as part of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games Torch Relay.
It will go into orbit aboard the International Space Station this November. It will be an unlit Torch, as naked flames are prohibited inside a spaceship going to the ISS!
This news has just been confirmed by Vitaly Davydov, deputy head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos.
Of course, Russia became the first country to send a man into space, over 50 years ago, when Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth in 1961. It seems only fitting that Russia will be the first country to send the Olympic Torch into space too!
It is also possible that the torch will be carried outside the station into space when Russian austronauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky perform the world’s first ever ‘Olympic spacewalk ceremony’!
The Torch will then return to Earth on a manned flight, scheduled to land on November 12.
These ground-breaking events are part of the Olympic Organising Committee’s attempt to stage the biggest and best Olympic Torch Relay ever, as we reported in this previous story, Coca-Cola partners Sochi 2014 Torch Relay.
The Relay is due to begin on October 7. During its 123-journey, 14,000 Torchbearers will cover a massive 65,000 kilometres, across all 83 Russian regions, encompassing 2,900 towns and villages, and the torch will also journey to the top of Europe’s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus (5,642m), and to the bottom of the world’s deepest lake, Lake Baikal (1,600m). It will reach the Olympic Park on 7 February at the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Games.
Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and President of the Russian Olympic Committee remarked: “The torch relay is to demonstrate the character of modernRussia, its great historical and cultural achievements and the achievements of the common people… We are proud now to have the opportunity to be the first nation to send the Olympic torch into space.”
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