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MOSCOW, November 6 (Itar-Tass) - Cosmonauts have undergone special training for a space walk with an Olympic Torch, Roscosmos cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin said at a press conference on Wednesday which was broadcast by Rossia-24 television from Baikonur cosmodrome.
"The space torch does not have any technical peculiarities, there is no need to finalize anything in its construction. The probable reason is that the torch was also created by space engineers who build space rockets," Tyurin said.
"The Olympic torch is the oldest symbol of the world. It is a pleasure, a big responsibility and excitement to handle this symbol," Tyurin declared. It is symbolic that we will also have a kind of a space torch relay. Our space crew is to bring the torch to the ISS, the second space crew in succession is to make a space walk, taking the Torch out, and the next crew in succession is to return the Torch to the Earth on November 11. Each crew will perform its own mission," Tyurin said.
Being in the orbit the Russian cosmonauts and their foreign colleagues will be able to watch the Olympic competitions and support their favorite teams because the ISS is provided with very good communication facilities which ensure quick transmission of information to the ISS. "I prefer the kinds of sport which demonstrate psychological and moral sides of a sportsman's character," Tyurin said.
The videos featuring the Olympic torch in space will be displayed on the Internet. The forthcoming spacewalk during which the cosmonauts will take the Olympic torch into raw space is going to be the main event during the forthcoming four-day space mission.
The cosmonauts have undergone special training to rehearse operations with the Olympic Torch they will conduct beyond the ISS. "Two men out for a spacewalk are to record each other on a video as they carry the Olympic Torch." Tyurin said. He played down a possibility of the torch moving elsewhere in space as "practically nil". There is a chance that something might be lost during the spacewalk, but all the things handled in raw space are reliably secured. Turning over the torch from one to the other, the cosmonauts will simultaneously turn over to each other a facility which ensures security. All these operations have been practiced at a hydro-laboratory,Tyurin said.
Tyurin wished success to all the sportsmen who will take part in the Olympic Games. "I want them to realize that they are part of manned cosmonautics, and that the cosmonauts are part of the Olympic movement," Tyurin said. " We are doing a common cause which is important for the whole mankind."