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Ronald J. Garan, Jr.

Atlantis Astronauts Take Time To Savor Historic Moment

After a hectic week in orbit, the astronauts on NASA's last space shuttle flight got some time off Thursday to savor their historic experience."This is one of the first days we've been able to take a deep breath and appreciate what we're doing up here," said space shuttle Atlantis ' commander, Christopher Ferguson.Until Thursday, the workload in orbit was so intense that the four astronauts had only fleeting moments of realizing "wow, this is really it," astronaut Rex Walheim said in a series of TV interviews."But boy, it's going to hit when we land and wheels stop," he added.The 10 astronauts aboard the linked Atlantis and International Space Station got time to linger over the "all-American meal" of grilled chicken and barbecued beef brisket that NASA packed for them, complete with baked beans and Hostess apple pie.NASA urged the public to share in the virtual dinner, publishing the recipes online in advance.Before kicking back and relaxing, Ferguson said the space station delivery m...

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