Sochi Olympic Torch, A Soyuz rocket carrying the torch for the Sochi Winter Olympics has docked with the International Space Station, as part of efforts to showcase next year’s games in Russia.
On Saturday, two Russian cosmonauts will take it on a historic first spacewalk. The torch will not be lit.
The event is part of a rebranding exercise by Russia, designed to portray it as a strong, modern country, says the BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Baikonur.
The rocket left Earth at 04:14:25 GMT.
It blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, crewed by three cosmonauts – Russia’s Mikhail Tyurin, American Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata from Japan.
The Olympic symbol will be handed over to fellow cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, who are already on the orbiting station, when they go on the spacewalk on Saturday.