The Olympic Torch in Space | Daily Planet | Air & Space Magazine
Cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy carry the torch in space, November 2013. (Roscosmos)

The Olympic Torch in Space

The most remote stop on the road to Sochi

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Considering Russia’s size, it’s no surprise that the Olympic Torch relay for this year’s winter games in Sochi has covered a lot of territory. Cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy even carried the torch—unlit, of course—outside with them on a spacewalk last November, a stunt that got them a lot of attention, even though the video released at the time was fairly low quality (see below for high-def scenes).

For Kotov, who’s currently on his third tour aboard the International Space Station, it was a kind of culmination.  He had been on the station back in 2007 when Sochi was chosen for the 2014 games, and in the years since, cosmonauts (as well as Earth-imaging satellites) have made a point to photo-document the Olympic site’s transformation from a Black Sea resort to a village for athletes.

The site of the Sochi games -- before and after -- as seen from orbit. (Roscosmos)

This Russian-language TV report produced by the Roscosmos space agency also shows scenes from a mini-relay staged by Russian, European, and US astronauts inside the station last fall, plus a few glimpses of another celebrity torchbearer—Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space.

The torch relay for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia,included a spacewalk and ceremonial handoffs on the International Space Station. This Russian-language video report also shows views of the Sochi site taken from space over the last few years. (Video: Roscosmos TV)
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