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A Soyuz spacecraft has blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the Olympic torch for the first time in history.

November 9, 2013

On November 7, the Olympic torch was sent to the International Space Station on board Russian spacecraft Soyuz-TMA, where, for the first time in history, it will be taken on a spacewalk – for which astronauts were specially trained.

November 9, 2013

The torch will spend only five days in orbit and will return back to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M along with the current ISS crew - Fyodor Yurchikhin, Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano.

November 9, 2013

The ISS crew, Russia's Mikhail Tyurin, NASA's Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata of Japan, blasted off early on Thursday from Baikonur, Russian-operated cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

November 9, 2013

Although the flame will not be burning aboard the ISS for safety reasons, the torch will be carried through all the station’s modules and taken for a spacewalk.

November 9, 2013

  Factfile