Oleg Kotov with the Olympic torch above the planet Earth | via Twitter
Oleg Kotov with the Olympic torch above the planet Earth | via Twitter

For the first time in history, the Olympic torch relay is taking place in outer space right now on Saturday, November 9.

A pair of Russian cosmonauts stepped outside the International Space Station and are presently performing a torch relay as part of its historic spacewalk ahead of next year’s Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Russia.

Visit NASA TV to watch live video footage as it is happening right now. Click here.

Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky took the unlit version of the silver-and-red torch through the hatch of the International Space Station.

While gripping the torch in the gloved fist of his spacesuit, Kotov crawled out of the hatch and waved it triumphantly 261 miles (420 km) above the planet Earth.

Kotov handed the torch to Ryazansky. They took turns posing with it, with the station, the blackness of outer space and the blue-and-white orb of Earth as backdrops.

“That’s a beautiful view,” Ryazansky said.

The pictures were taken using cameras mounted on the cosmonauts’ spacesuit helmets. They were broadcast live on U.S. space agency NASA’s Internet channel and Russian state television. The photos that accompany this story comes from tweets on the ISS101 Twitter account.

The Sochi torch spent up to six hours in open space.

The craft reached the space station six hours after leaving Earth on Thursday

The Olympic torch was not lit aboard the space station as this would consume oxygen and pose a risk to the crew.

It will be returned to Earth on Monday by Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, U.S. astronaut Karen Nyberg and Italian Luca Parmitano.

After being to Sochi officials. It will be used to light the Olympic cauldron when the Games start of February 7.

 

 

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