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Olympic Torch Will Launch to Space Aboard Soyuz Rocket With New Station Crew

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First Posted: Nov 05, 2013 07:35 PM EST

The Olympic torch will launch to space this Thursday aboard this Soyuz TMA-11M rocket seen here. The rocket is adorned with the logo of the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee and other related artwork, and is pictured in a long exposure image here, making the movement of the service structure arms visible as they are raised into position at the launch pad on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The launch of this Soyuz rocket is scheduled for November 7 and will send 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 on a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

The crew will have the special task of delivering the Olympic torch with this flight, and spacewalkers Kotov and Ryazanskiy will even carry it outside the station on Saturday! The torch, returning home with Expedition 37, will then light the flame at the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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