The Olympic Torch Is Now On The ISS

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A multi-national crew of a Soyuz spacecraft has brought the Sochi 2014 Olympic torch on-board the International Space Station. Soon, the Olympic flame will be taken into open space for the first time in history.

A Soyuz spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome early Thursday, carrying Russian, US and Japanese astronauts as well as the Olympic torch for the 2014 winter games in Sochi.

This launch has been dedicated to Sochi Olympic Games, so both the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft and Soyuz-FG rocket booster were decorated in Olympics colors to mark the unusual cargo.

The crew for the historic 38/39 mission on the International Space Station consist of commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Koichi Wakata of Japan’s JAXA.

rocket launch Credit NASA/Bill Ingalls

In this two-minute exposure, the Soyuz TMA-11M rocket heads from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan towards orbit with Expedition 38 Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency onboard. The trio launched Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 (Nov. 6 in the U.S.), bound for a docking at the International Space Station about six hours later. Tyurin, Mastracchio and Wakata will spend the next six months aboard the orbiting laboratory