CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astronaut Randolph Bresnik jubilantly welcomed his new daughter into the world Sunday as he floated 220 miles above it.
Abigail Mae Bresnik was born as her father circled Earth on his first space shuttle mission, just hours after his first spacewalk.
“At 11:04 last night, Abigail Mae Bresnik joined the NASA family,” Bresnik announced Sunday morning from the linked space shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station.
Bresnik, 42, a lieutenant colonel in the Marines and former fighter pilot, thanked everyone at Mission Control and elsewhere for their support, especially during the past few days.
As his wife was in labor Saturday evening, Bresnik was connected by the space station’s Internet protocol phone to the NASA flight surgeon at the hospital. Bedtime came, and the spaceman signed off for the night.
Abigail Mae – 6 pounds and 13 ounces, and 20 inches long – finally made her appearance, long after all the astronauts had gone to sleep.
Mission Control awakened the shuttle crew with the song “Butterfly Kisses,” chosen by Rebecca Bresnik for her husband. Among the lyrics: “There’s two things I know for sure/She was sent here from heaven and she’s daddy’s little girl.”