Thursday, October 24, 2013

Next Station Crew Unveils Olympic Torch

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (left), Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin (center) and NASA Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio pose for pictures with a model of the Olympic torch following a crew news conference Oct. 22, 2013. The trio is scheduled to launch Nov. 7, Kazakh time, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft for the start of a six-month mission on the International Space Station. Launching with the the crew will be one of the Olympic torches used in the Olympic relay that will culminate with the torch’s arrival at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February. Photo credit: NASA

The Olympic torch will be carried up to the International Space Station when three Expedition 38 crew members launch Nov. 6 aboard a Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft. Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin with Flight Engineers Koichi Wakata and Rick Mastracchio unveiled a model of the torch Oct. 22 at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia during a news conference. The torch will be returned Nov. 10 when Expedition 36 lands inside the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft. It will be used at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February.

Sergei Krikalev, head of the Cosmonauts' Training Center outside Moscow, said last week that an unlit torch with an extra tether attached would be carried into open space next month by cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, during which time it will orbit the Earth several times.

He said Russian engineers had tweaked the design of the torch to prevent it from slipping out of the cosmonauts’ grip during the photo-op spacewalk.

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, Expedition 38/39 Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin (right) hoists a model of the Olympic torch during a crew news conference Oct. 22, 2013. Tyurin, NASA Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio (center) and Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are scheduled to launch Nov. 7, Kazakh time, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft for the start of a six-month mission on the International Space Station. Launching with them will be one of the Olympic torches used in the Olympic relay that will culminate with the torch’s arrival at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February. Photo credit: NASA
At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, Expedition 38/39 Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin (right) hoists a model of the Olympic torch during a crew news conference Oct. 22, 2013. Tyurin, NASA Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio (center) and Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are scheduled to launch Nov. 7, Kazakh time, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft for the start of a six-month mission on the International Space Station. Launching with them will be one of the Olympic torches used in the Olympic relay that will culminate with the torch’s arrival at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February. Photo credit: NASA

“The Olympic torch for space is just like the one for the 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 fly away," Krikalev added.

Credit: NASARIA Novosti

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