US-Russian Crew to Carry Unlit 2014 Olympic Torch

US-Russian Crew to Carry Unlit 2014 Olympic Torch

A joint US-Russian crew has reached the International Space Station in less than six hours. The journey took off from Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

Previous journeys had lasted nearly two days on an average. An unlit Winter Olympic torch has been planned to be taken to the outer space by two Russian cosmonauts. Their aim is to promote the Sochi Olympics to be held in 2014.

The crew on the International Space Station has been joined by a NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts today after a six-hour journey and four orbits around the Earth.

A Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft carried Michael Hopkins, NASA astronaut along with Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency. The spacecraft docked with the space station at 10:45 p. m. ET Wednesday.

The journey to the space station has become faster over the past several months because of new rendezvous techniques that were tested in three unpiloted Russian cargo spacecrafts.

According to NASA, the three will be staying on the space station for five-and-a-half months. They will reach back on the Earth in March. The new team of three was welcomed by Russian commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and his two flight engineers -- Karen Nyberg of NASA and Italian Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency.