Image: Randolph Bresnik
This image provided by NASA shows astronaut Randolph Bresnik earlier this month.
updated 11/22/2009 9:09:46 AM ET 2009-11-22T14:09:46

Astronaut Randolph Bresnik is a new dad again, after launching into space and taking a spacewalk, all for the first time.

He announced the birth of his daughter, Abigail, on Sunday morning on NASA's airwaves.

His wife, Rebecca, gave birth to their second child back home in Houston on Saturday at 11:04 p.m. CST. They have a 3-year-old son, adopted from Ukraine.

Bresnik said both mama and baby are doing very well.

"Very thankful for everyone there at Mission Control and everywhere else at NASA that's been so supportive and essentially so helpful the last couple days with everything that's been going on," he said.

Mission Control responded with "heartfelt congratulations."

"Thanks for recognizing the significant accomplishments on Earth that happened while you guys were working hard on your challenging mission in orbit," Mission Control said.

The 42-year-old Marine installed antennas and other equipment outside the International Space Station on Saturday while eagerly awaiting his daughter's birth. Mrs. Bresnik was due to deliver Friday, but the day came and went, as did most of the next. The astronaut received the news privately in orbit.

‘We don't choose the timing’
Mrs. Bresnik, an attorney who specializes in international law at Johnson Space Center, said before the flight that she was "a little disappointed" her husband would not be present for the birth, but understood.

"We don't choose the timing," she said in an interview that was broadcast by NASA following the birth announcement. "He's trained one year for this mission but really he's been here five, almost six years. I'm just really excited for him and excited for us."

She said their son is eager to be a big brother.

Second time
This is only the second time a NASA astronaut has become a new father while in orbit. In 2004, space station resident Mike Fincke welcomed the birth of his second child, also a girl.

The shuttle astronauts were awakened Sunday by the song "Butterfly Kisses." Mrs. Bresnik chose it 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."

Sunday was mostly a day off for the seven shuttle fliers and five space station residents, giving Bresnik time to savor the baby experience. He will venture back out on another spacewalk Monday.

Atlantis will remain docked at the space station until Wednesday. The shuttle will return to Earth on Friday. Mrs. Bresnik will not be on hand for the touchdown.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Astronaut over the moon for daughter’s birth

  1. Closed captioning of: Astronaut over the moon for daughter’s birth

    >>> yourself.

    >>> finally tonight, a blessed event for a dad, a long way from home. shuttle astronaut randy breznick may be in orbit but his wife has been occupied giving birth to a brand new them were of the crew. here is nbc's george lewis .

    >>> look at randy breznick --

    >> randy was walking in space yesterday as his wife was getting ready to give birth. today he is walking on air telling colleagues on the ground, houston, we have a daughter.

    >> just want to take this opportunity to report some good news at 11:04 last night, abigail mae bresnik joined the nasa family.

    >> reporter: bresnik took off monday on an 11-day mission. prior to that he and his wife talked about how because of medical complications she would be delivering the baby in his absence. doctors decided to induce labor two weeks early.

    >> like most parents i would prefer to be there at the birth for sure.

    >> a little disappointed that he won't be able to be there. understanding we don't choose the timing. excited for him he is doing what he is doing.

    >> reporter: astronaut bresnik and wife, a nasa attorney, had been told they could not conceive children. so they adopted a son, wyatt from ukraine last year. the bresniks say he started lobbying for a younger sibling.

    >> he goes, oh, baby, i want baby. i want baby. i'm sorry, i can't help you out there. and then three months after getting home with him, we are giving him what he wants.

    >> the miracle of adoption as well as the miracle of child birth all in one year. we are amazingly blessed.

    >> reporter: bresnik joins a small select group of astronauts.

    >> the dads of space club is exclusive, four people so far we know of. two on russian flights. two on american flights.

    >> reporter: the shuttle is supposed to be back on the ground on friday, the day after thanksgiving. and the bresniks will have a whole new reason to be thankful. george lewis , nbc news, los angeles .


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