Russian Cosmonauts May Take Olympic Torch into Space

ZVYOZDNY GORODOK, May 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian cosmonauts could take an unlit Olympic torch aboard the International Space Station as part of the relay route for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, expedition commander Fyodor Yurchikhin said on Wednesday.

The Olympic torch is expected to be carried into orbit by a crew led by Mikhail Tyurin and handed over to Yurchikhin’s crew, who will return it to Earth on November 12, after a space walk with the torch is performed.

“It will be an honor for the crew,” Fyodor Yurchikhin said. “And we will be very happy to see the backup crew [led by Mikhail Tyurin] at this milestone event – the Olympic torch handover,” he told reporters in Zvyozdny Gorodok (Star City) in the Moscow Region.

The torch will not be lit, as naked flames are prohibited inside spaceships going to the ISS.

Sergei Krikalev, head of the Cosmonaut Training Center, confirmed that such plans are being discussed but said that the program “has not yet been approved.”

The Sochi Olympic Games are to be held in February 2014.


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