Mike Fincke's wife Renita gives birth to daughter Tarali
Father's Day came early for Astronaut Mike Fincke, 225 miles in
space aboard the International Space Station, as he received the
best present on Earth -- baby daughter Tarali Paulina Fincke, born
Although Fincke is among thousands of American fathers whose
service to the country has prevented them from attending the birth
of a child, he is the first U.S. astronaut to have celebrated the
event from space.
Fincke's wife, Renita,
gave birth to their second child in Clear Lake, Texas, on this
morning. Fincke later spoke to teams of flight controllers in
Russia and the U.S. during a television downlink, thanking them for
their support of his family and offering a celebratory cigar and
candy to Station Commander Gennady Padalka. Fincke also urged
everyone to remember all those in service to their country and
support them as they make similar sacrifices away from their
Fincke, the NASA Station Science Officer, and Padalka spent this
week getting ready for a spacewalk planned for June 24 to replace a
faulty Remote Power Controller, essentially a circuit breaker. The
spacewalk is designed to replace a Remote Power Controller Module
(RPCM) which houses the faulty circuit breaker, through which power
is routed to one of the Control Moment Gyros (CMGs).
There are four CMGs in the Station's Z1 truss. They control the
orientation of the ISS in space. CMG 1 failed about two years
ago, and will be replaced during the next Shuttle mission. CMG 2
was taken off line by the April 21 failure of the circuit breaker
and should be restored by the RPCM's replacement. Meanwhile, two
functioning CMGs adequately control the station's attitude.
NASA Television coverage of the spacewalk begins at 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 24. Padalka and Fincke are scheduled to leave the
Russian Pirs docking compartment at 4:50 p.m. CDT in Russian
spacesuits. A Mission Status Briefing focusing on the spacewalk
will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, June 21, at the Johnson Space Center
and will be carried on NASA-TV.
The two spacewalkers will move to the worksite, on the S0 truss,
covering part of the distance using the Russian Strela crane
attached to Pirs. The replacement work should take about 4 hours.
Other tasks may be performed if time allows.
The crew's Russian spacesuits require a line of sight to
antennas on the Russian segment of the station, some distance from
the worksite, to communicate with the ground and with one another.
Communications access points have been identified and four basic
hand signals have been developed should Padalka and Fincke need
In addition to the spacewalk preparations, the crew's attention
this week was devoted to experiment activities. The crew used
one another as subjects in mass measurement checks and Fincke
worked with three of the Express Racks aboard the U.S. laboratory
Destiny to load new software.