Historic torch run into space: for the first time, the olympic torch has reached free space.
Russian cosmonauts sergei rjasanski and oleg kotov descended from the international space station ISS at a height of more than 400 kilometers with the symbol of the 2014 winter olympic games. This is the torch that is to be used in the russian black sea resort of sochi on 7. February 2014 the olympic fire will be lit.
During their spacewalk, the cosmonauts took photos of each other with mega-high-tech cameras, handed each other the olympic symbol several times, and reenacted their own torch relay in space. The hatches of the ISS opened at 15 minutes.34 o’clock CET. 5 hours and 50 minutes later the astronauts climbed back into the station. Olympic torches were already in space before the 1996 and 2000 games. But they were not taken into free space at that time.
With this spectacular action, the proud space nation russia wanted to demonstrate its self-confidence, according to experts. For safety reasons and because of the lack of oxygen in space, the two kilogram torch did not burn. A special safety device ensured that it could not float away. During earlier missions the space travelers had lost some tools.
"We will arrange everything in such a way that there will be a beautiful picture, that the whole country and the whole world will see the torch", kotow had announced. On his fourth mission, the 48-year-old was allowed to carry the flare out of the ISS. For rjasanski (38) it was the first spacewalk.
On the ISS, seven other crew members from russia, italy, japan and the U.S. Provided security for the spacewalkers. Apart from the photo and video works with the torch, they also carried out important works on the wall of the humanity’s post. However, they were not able to fulfill all the planned tasks. Already this monday the torch will return to earth, where it will be presented to representatives of the winter games (7. Until 23. February 2014) is to be handed over.
The action is part of a "superlative torch relay". Stops are planned at the bottom of lake baikal in siberia and on the summit of mount elbrus in the caucasus mountains. Before that, the world-grown icebreaker had already brought a torch specimen to the north pole. Critics accuse the organizing committee of gigantism.