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Cosmonauts take Sochi Olympic torch for first spacewalk

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Cosmonauts take Sochi Olympic torch for first spacewalk

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For the first time in history, the Olympic torch has been taken into open space as part of the torch relay for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

A pair of Russian cosmonauts took turns to wave the unlit torch some 320 kilometres above Earth while outside the International Space Station.

Inspired by the Firebird of Russian folklore, the metre-long, red and silver torch weighs almost 2 kilograms on Earth. It will light the Olympic flame when the Games start on February 7.

This is part of what will be the longest torch relay before any Winter Olympics, and perhaps the most spectacular publicity shot.