After a successful launch from Kazakhstan late last night, the Soyuz rocket bearing the Olympic torch has now docked with the International Space Station (ISS). Accompanying the torch were Astronauts-turned-torch bearers Mikhail Tyurin from Russia, America's Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata from Japan. These three will now hand off the torch to current ISS crew members Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky.
Once in their hands, the Olympic torch is destined to go where no torch has gone before: out into the boundless depths of space itself. On Saturday, Ryazansky and Kotov will don their space suits and step out into the void, torch in hand. The cosmonauts will take images of the torch in space to publicize the already controversial upcoming games.
While on its historic spacewalk, the torch will be tethered to one of the cosmonauts at all times, reducing the risk of it floating off into cosmos. The torch's counterpart, the Olympic flame, had to remain on land for the duration of the trip since smoke and carbon monoxide are pretty dangerous in a sealed environment.