On 17 June 2004, Mike Fincke became the first United States astronaut to welcome a child while in orbit. While he was aboard the International Space Station, his Assamese-American wife Renita gave birth to a baby girl back in Houston. They named the baby Tarali Paulina.
Fincke proudly informed Mission Control that Tara — the first two syllables of the name — means “star” in the Indian dialect of his wife’s family. Their son, who is not quite 3, is named Chandra, which means “moon.”
“My wife had already given me the moon, now she’s given me a star,” he said.
They have since had a third child, a daughter named Surya, whose name means “sun” in Assamese.
The second baby to be born to an American astronaut while in orbit was named Abigail Mae. She was born on 21 November 2009 to astronaut Randolph Bresnik and his wife Rebecca.