Russian astronauts take Olympic torch to space

olympic torch space

The symbolic torch that will be used to light the flame at the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, just completed a two-hour spacewalk that was broadcast live online on NASA TV.

A three-man crew took the torch up to the International Space Station on Thursday. Today, astronauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky tethered the unlit torch to their space suits while doing routine maintenance. The historic spacewalk was recorded using helmet cameras.

The torch, which represents international cooperation, has been carried to space twice before. This was its first time leaving a spaceship, however.

The event was part of Russia's effort to promote the 2014 winter games and portray itself as powerful and modern — especially as has recently been criticized for strict anti-homosexuality attitudes and laws that are seen as backward by many in western countries.

The torch will return to Earth on Sunday.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.