The Olympic symbol will be delivered to Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, who have been on board the ISS since September. This is the third occasion that an Olympic torch has flown into space; previous flights were in 1996 and 2000 as part of the torch relay leading up to the Atlanta and Sydney Summer Olympic games. However, this will be the first occasion that the torch will have been taken out into open space with the two cosmonauts planning to take it on a spacewalk this Saturday, watched live by a TV audience of millions.
The red and silver torch design, inspired by a Russian folklore tale about a Firebird, will then return to Earth on Monday 11th November, to continue the 65,000km (40,000 miles) torch relay. Destinations yet to be visited by the iconic Olympic symbol include the peak of Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, and the depths of Siberia's Lake Baikal before reaching Sochi on the Black Sea for the start of the Games.
Needless to say and for obvious reasons, the torch will not be lit during its time on board the ISS!