Olympic torch returns to Earth from outer space trip (video, photos)

Olympic Torch Relay
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The Olympic torch that spacewalked outside the International Space Station on Saturday landed in Kazakhstan (along with three astronauts) on Sunday night.

Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin, American Karen Nyberg and Italian Luca Parmitano returned with the torch in a protective bag at 9:49 p.m. ET. It took 3 1/2 hours to return to Earth from the International Space Station, according to reports.

It’s the same torch that will be used to light the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 7, according to NASA.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky took the torch on a spacewalk Saturday (video and photos here).

“We have shown the entire world what we are capable of, very vividly,” Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko told R-Sport. “If anyone can do better, let them try,” he joked.

Here’s video of the launch, spacewalk and landing:

Here are photos of the landing:

source: AP
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source: AP
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source: AP
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