Olympic torch takes space walk

Nov. 9, 2013 at 2:22 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The torch for the Sochi Winter Olympics made a historic trip to open space Saturday, with Russian cosmonauts saying they hoped to "make it look spectacular."

A three-man crew of astronauts accompanied the torch to the International Space Station Thursday in a Russian spacecraft that blasted off from Kazakhstan, the BBC reported.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky brought the unlit torch into open space Saturday afternoon and took pictures and videos of each other holding it.

"Our goal here is to make it look spectacular," Kotov said earlier this week. "We'd like to showcase our Olympic torch in space. We will try to do it in a beautiful manner. Millions of people will see it live on TV and they will see the station and see how we work."

The torch will return to Earth Monday and will be used to light the Olympic cauldron in February.

While the Olympic torch has been sent to space twice in the past -- in 1996 and 2000 -- this is the first time it has left the spaceship.

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