(WASHINGTON) — As planning for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, kicks into high gear, the biannual Olympic Torch Relay heads to space.
Russian astronauts will take the unlighted Olympic torch aboard the International Space Station as part of the relay route. It’s expected that cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky will be selected to take the torch aboard the space walk, reported the Russian Times.
“It will be the same as the torch at the Olympics,” the deputy head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, Vitaly Davydov, told the Interfax news agency.
The torch walk, which is planned to begin on Oct. 7, 2013, will span 123 days and scale more than 56,000 kilometers (about 34,797 miles). The torch will be carried by a record-breaking 14,000 different torchbearers, according to the Sochi 2014 Games’ official website.
The torch is expected to return to Earth from the space walk on Nov. 12 to continue its route through Russia, the Russian Times reported.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Oren Liebermann, CNN
Schams Elwazer, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tim Hume, CNN
Chandrika Narayan and Steve Almasy, CNN