Exactly one month since the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay’s journey across Russia, a Soyuz TMA-11M was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch on board. On arrival at the International Space Station, the commander of the ship, cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, will pass the Sochi 2014 Torch to Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky, who will take the torch on a spacewalk on 9 November.
The launch of the Soyuz-TMA-11M took place at 08:14 with the aid of the Soyuz-FG rocket carrier. All crew members wore badges with images of the Olympic Torch and the Sochi 2014 logo.
Koichi Wakata (Japan) and Richard Mastracchio (USA), under the leadership of commander Mikhail Tyurin (Russia) will accompany the Olympic Torch on its voyage. This will not be the first time that Mikhail Tyurin has carried the Torch, as on 24 June, he received it when the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee presented the torch to the Roscosmos Federal Space Agency and the second, was on 10 October when he ran with the Olympic flame in his home town of Kolomna.
After docking with the ISS, Mikhail Tyurin will give the Olympic Torch to cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky, who have already been in low Earth orbit for more than a month. They will hold a stage of the relay on board the ISS and all the astronauts will carry the Olympic Torch, unlit, to all parts of the space station. Two days later, on 9 November, the cosmonauts will take the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch on a spacewalk. Sergey Ryazansky will carry cameras and video equipment whilst Oleg Kotov will follow him with the Torch. The cosmonauts will spend four hours in outer space. The Olympic space expedition will be broadcast live on television.
The Olympic torch will return to earth on 11 November and be carried by cosmonaut, Fedor Yurchikhin, who is currently on the ISS.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, marked:
"Russia was the first country to send a man into space, and today we are making Olympic history by sending the Olympic Torch into space for the first time. This feat underlines incredible human capabilities and will symbolize the aspirations of all athletes from around the world to reach new heights in sports".
For more information contact:Communications Service
sochi2014.com | OGON@sochi2014.com | +7 495 984 2014
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