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Astronaut's baby daughter born as he circles Earth

CAPE CANAVERAL — 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 space walk.

"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. "Mama and baby are doing very well."

It was the second child for Randolph and Rebecca Bresnik, who adopted a boy from Ukraine a year ago. Wyatt is now 3 ½.

As his wife was in labor Saturday evening, Bresnik, 42, a Marine lieutenant colonel and former fighter pilot, was connected by the space station's Internet protocol phone to the NASA flight surgeon at the hospital. Bedtime came, and Bresnik signed off for the night. Abigail Mae — 6 pounds and 13 ounces, and 20 inches long — made her appearance, long after all the astronauts had gone to sleep.

This is the second time an American astronaut has become a new father while in space. In 2004, Mike Fincke was in the middle of a space station mission when his second child, a girl, was born.

Bresnik, who made a six-hour space walk Saturday, installing antennas and other equipment at the space station, is scheduled for another space walk today.

Atlantis will remain docked at the space station until Wednesday and return to Earth on Friday.

Astronaut's baby daughter born as he circles Earth 11/22/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 22, 2009 10:34pm]
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