Wakata to take Olympic torch to ISS

Kyodo

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata will relay an Olympic torch to the International Space Station in November as part of the torch relay for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Japanese and Russian sources said Monday.

Wakata will leave for the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as one of the crew members on Russia’s Soyuz space capsule in early November.

Several days after Wakata’s arrival at the ISS, a crew member will return to Earth carrying the torch, the officials said. If realized, it would be the first Olympic torch relay to be conducted in space.

It remains unclear how the flame will be kept alive in space.

The Olympic torch will be delivered to Moscow from Athens on Oct. 7. The torch will then be relayed across Russia for about four months before the Winter Olympics in February 2014.