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Sochi Olympic torch tweaked for trip into space

by R-Sport at 15/10/2013 15:38

Russian engineers have tweaked the design of a Sochi 2014 Olympic torch that will go into space to prevent it from slipping out of a cosmonaut's grip during the photo-op spacewalk.

The torch is to blast off to the international space station next month in a trip that is not part of the 123-day relay itself but a symbolic gesture designed to showcase Russia's might.

An unlit torch with an extra tether attached is to be carried into open space by cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, during which time it will orbit Earth several times, said the head of the Cosmonauts' Training Center Sergei Krikalev.

"The Olympic torch for space is just like the one for Earth, but there will be no gas in it," he said.

"To take it into open space the object was reworked: An extra fixing element has been added to attach a tether to, just so it doesn't happen to fly away," Krikalev added.

After the torch returns to Earth on November 11, it will be taken to the Olympic host city of Sochi and used to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony on February 7.

The actual torch relay began on Red Square on October 7 and is currently spiraling out from Moscow on its way north to St. Petersburg as part of its record 65,000-kilometer journey.

On Tuesday, the relay reaches the city of Ryazan.



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