Their arrival marks a departure from the typical rotation of station crew members. Usually, half the six-member live-aboard crew returns back to Earth a couple of weeks before their replacements are launched. This time, however, Russia wants its returning crew members to bring the torch home, so the replacement crew/torch delivery team is arriving early.
NEWS: Olympic Torch to Take a Space Walk
Just bringing the Olympic torch to space isn't enough. On Saturday, cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy, who have been aboard the station since Sept. 25, will make a spacewalk during which they will display and photograph the torch outside the outpost.