In a special message recorded before launch from Venice, Italy, Michael Stipe, lead singer of R.E.M., sang an A capella version of the band’s song “Man on the Moon,” then followed it with a greeting to the astronauts.
“Good morning, Atlantis,” he said. “This is Michael Stipe from R.E.M. We wish you much success on your mission, and thank all the women and men at NASA who have worked on shuttle for three decades. From Earth, a very good morning to you.”
More unpacking of the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module is on tap today for Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. But they’ll also take some time out for a few special events.
At 5:59 a.m., Ferguson and Magnus will be speaking with reporters from Fox News Radio and KTVI-TV and KSDK-TV in St. Louis. Then, at 8:19 a.m., the entire crew will be interviewed by WBBM-TV in Chicago, KTVU-TV in Oakland, Calif., and WTXF-TV in Philadelphia.
In addition, both the shuttle and station crews will have the opportunity to enjoy an “All-American Meal” of barbecue brisket or grilled chicken and baked beans, southwestern corn and apple pie, and the public is invited to share in it, virtually. Visit http://go.nasa.gov/AllAmericanMeal for recipes, or “formulations” as they’re called by NASA food scientists, as well as more information, video and imagery.
The shuttle and station crews’ midday meals are scheduled to begin at 7:19 a.m.