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Nov 7, 2013 8:58 AM by Bethany Rhodes

Olympic torch reaches International Space Station

The Winter Olympic torch was launched into space Thursday from Kazakhstan.

At around 5:30 a.m. MST, the International Space Station door opened and the relay began. Astronauts passed the torch from the shuttle to the station. It is also expected to go on a spacewalk outside the station, a first for an Olympic torch, and then handed off to the crew who will return it to earth on Saturday.

Versions of Olympic torches have gone into orbit, both in 1996 and 2000, but this will be the first time outside.

It will not be lit, due to safety reasons.

This is the same torch that will be used to light the Olympic flame when the Winter Games kick off in Sochi, Russia on February 7, 2014. 

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