Astronaut in space while wife giving birth
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Shuttle Atlantis astronaut Randy Bresnik can be forgiven if he's having a tough time focusing on work -- his wife is due to give birth on Friday to a baby girl.
"He'd certainly like to be there for the birth of his daughter, but timing is what timing is," shuttle pilot Barry Wilmore said during an in-flight interview on Friday. "He's here and his wife, Rebecca, is there and he's going to make the best of it."
Wilmore, Bresnik and four other NASA astronauts blasted off on Monday for an 11-day mission to ferry spare parts to the International Space Station.
NASA is hoping to load the outpost with enough gear to tide it over for five- to 10 years of life after the shuttles stop flying next year.
After the fleet's retirement, Russian, European and Japanese cargo ships will keep the station stocked with supplies and crewmembers will fly on Russian Soyuz capsules.
Bresnik and his crewmates spent the day transferring cargo and preparing for the mission's second spacewalk on Saturday.
Bresnik, who is making his first spaceflight, and lead spacewalker Michael Forman are scheduled to install antennas to the outside of Europe's Columbus module and mount a cargo hold on the station's truss.
Wilmore said Bresnik is "doing great" and keeping in touch with his wife's progress back on Earth.
"He's excited by that," said Wilmore, "So are we. It's a great thing to share with him in this environment."
In a preflight interview with ABC News, Bresnik said his wife's pregnancy was a huge surprise, as the couple had been told she could not conceive. They adopted a boy from Ukraine last year. Three months later, Rebecca Bresnik learned she was pregnant.
(Editing by Jane Sutton and Vicki Allen)
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