Olympic torch goes on a walk in outer space

Agence France-Presse via Getty Images - Cosmonaut Oleg Kotov holds the Sochi Winter Olympic Games torch during a space walk.

An Olympic torch took a space walk for the first time
Saturday, carefully held by two Russian cosmonauts outside the international space station as it orbited some 260 miles above Earth.

Video streamed by NASA showed Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazanskiy carrying the unlit torch of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The torch bobbed weightlessly at the end of a tether in a darkness that was dotted by stars.

Contrails from jet planes passing overhead intersect the National Museum of Art in Washington, Thursday morning, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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The two gingerly maneuvered to take photos and then returned it to the space station before continuing with other tasks on a six-hour space walk.

The torch was launched into space from Kazakhstan, in central Asia, on Thursday morning. It returned to Earth on Monday with a three-person crew.

The torch did not burn aboard the space outpost because lighting it would consume precious oxygen and pose a threat to the crew.

The Sochi Olympic flame started its relay October 7, four months ahead of the Winter Games, and it is to cover some 39,000 miles.

Associated Press

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