Astronaut's baby born 200 miles below him

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pre-launch publicity photo of astronaut Randolph J Bresnik.

American astronaut, Randolph Bresnik, is in orbit over 200 miles above the Earth, where he learned of the birth of his daughter Abigail. Lieutenant Colonel Bresnik becomes only the second man to have become a father while in space.

Onboard Atlantis this morning, the crew were woken by mission control playing Butterfly Kisses, a song chosen by Bresnik's wife Rebecca. Prior to launch, Bresnik joked about the birth expected while on his eleven day mission with the Shuttle, "this is a pretty good excuse [for missing the birth] and hopefully she will forgive me later on".

The first-ever father in space was astronaut Mike Fincke in 2004.

Atlantis's current mission is scheduled to return to Earth this coming Friday, having resupplied the International Space Station and carried out two separate spacewalks. This will be the first time astronaut Bresnik gets to see the newest addition to his family. The couple live in Houston with their adopted three year-old son from Ukraine.