Shuttle crew awake and working

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (AP) -- The shuttle Atlantis astronauts are awake for their first full day in space.

NASA woke them up with Peter Garbriel's "The Book of Love." It was dedicated to French Air Force General Leopold Eyharts (AY'-ahrts) who will stay aboard the international space station for about a month. Eyharts thanked his wife and family in English and French saying he knows yesterday was a hard day for them and he's grateful for their support.

The shuttle is carrying Europe's 2 billion dollar Columbus laboratory after two months of technical delays. It's scheduled to arrive tomorrow. European space officials both cheered and cried yesterday when Atlantis successfully lifted off from Florida, overcoming earlier fuel gauge trouble, and predictions that bad weather might delay the launch.

Japan plans to send a lab called Hope, beginning in March. It's so big, it'll take three shuttle trips to get it there.

NASA faces a year 2010 deadline for completing the building of the orbiting space station and of retiring the shuttles.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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