Olympic torch taken for a spacewalk

Two Russian members of the International Space Station (ISS) crew took the Olympic torch with them for a spacewalk on Saturday.

Two Russian members of the International Space Station (ISS) crew took the Olympic torch with them for a spacewalk on Saturday. The torch will lit the Olympic flame for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

It was the first task of the spacewalk Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky to pose for pictures with the torch in hand.

The cosmonauts are wearing Orlan-MK space suits, designed and manufactured by Russian firm Zvezda. Kotov's suit has red and Ryazansky's blue stripes along the arms and legs.

It is Kotov's fourth and Ryazansky's first spacewalk, the Russian Mission Control Center told Interfax-AVN.

The cosmonauts were also going to have photos of them holding the torch taken in intervals during their work in open space. The torch is due to have been taken tack into the ISS around 1553 GMT.

The crewmembers staying inside the station photographed the spacewalkers through potholes. The Kupol module has seven quartz glass potholes.

The tasks of Kotov and Ryazansky include dismantling the Yakor platform from the Zvezda adapter module and fixing it at a remote task operator, other dismantling and installation work and, if time permits, and taking photos of the outside surface of the station\'s Russian segment for tracing possible damage by meteorites and space waste.

The Olympic torch was delivered to the ISS on Thursday by the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft, developed and manufactured by the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation.

The craft also brought Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata to the station. They were welcomed at the ISS by Russians Kotov, Ryazansky and Fyodor Yurchikhin, Americans Karen Nyberg and Michael Hopkins, and European astronaut Luca Parmitano.

The torch is due to return to Earth on Monday. The night before Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano will board the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft, which will undock from the station at 2325 GMT on Sunday and land in a Kazakhstan steppe at 0250 GMT on Monday. Around 1000 GMT the same day a plane carrying Yurchikhin and the Olympic torch will land on Chkalovsky airfield near Moscow.

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