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Olympic torch reaches space station


Moscow, Nov 7 (EFE).- The Russian Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft carrying three astronauts and the torch for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, successfully docked with the International Space Station, Moscow mission control said Thursday.

The crew of the capsule, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, NASA's Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata of Japan, participated in the torch relay on the ground, carrying the Sochi Olympic flame from their hotel to the bus that took them to the launch pad.

Though the torch cannot be lit while aboard the ISS for safety reasons, it will be taken on a spacewalk.

The Sochi torch is to return to Earth next Monday aboard the Soyuz TMA-9M with departing ISS crewmembers Fyodor Yurchikhin, Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano.

The torch now aboard the ISS will be used to light the flame at the start of the Winter Games in Sochi, the organizing committee said.