Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy completed the 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay Saturday, taking the torch outside of the International Space Station in a spacewalk. Kotov and Ryazanskiy carried the torch during a spacewalk that lasted just under six hours.
NASA reports the Olympic torch arrived Thursday aboard the Soyuz capsule carrying three Expedition 38 crew members. The spacewalk was part of a busy week for the International Space Station, currently housing a crew of nine, that concludes Sunday with the departure of three Expedition 37 crew members, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin. Kotov will replace Yurchikhin as commander.
The spacewalk began at 9:34 a.m. EST and ended at 3:24 p.m. After a quick photo op with the torch, Kotov and Ryazanskiy went to work completing some "chores," as NASA describes them, outside of the ISS. The cosmonauts were tasked to modify an "extravehicular activity workstation and biaxial pointing platform" by installing a set of handrails and mounting a foot restraint to the workstation chair, reports NASA, but delayed the foot restraint task until a planned spacewalk for December. Kotov and Ryazanskiy also removed a bracket to make room for a camera system that will be installed in December. The final chore on the list was preparing for the deactivation of the Radiometria experiment, which was installed in 2011 to collect earthquake data, by removing a set of cables, reports NASA. The experiment's antenna will be restrained during the next spacewalk.
Saturday's spacewalk was the fourth for Kotov and the first for Ryazaskiy, while it was the 174th for the International Space Station. The video of the Olympic torch relay in space, courtesy of NASA, can be viewed below.