With their hardest tasks behind them, space shuttle Atlantis' six astronauts got time to relax Saturday after almost a week of nonstop work adding a new 17 1/2-ton addition with wing-like solar power panels to the international space station.
NASA even let the crew sleep an extra hour before waking them with Jimmy Buffett's beach song "Twelve Volt Man."
"We said good morning to them, then a little housekeeping and then left them alone, gave them a chance to enjoy their time on orbit and wind down from what has been a very, very busy series of days on the flight," said flight director Paul Dye.
The astronauts were grateful and echoed Dye's description.
"We've been very, very busy so the chance to sleep in was very much appreciated," rookie astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper said during a news conference from space.
Saturday was the last full day at the space station for Atlantis' crew. Besides relaxing and enjoying the view from 220 miles (354 kilometers) above Earth, they still had to unload supplies for the space station, including 90 pounds (40.5 kilograms) of oxygen.
The Atlantis astronauts were to say their goodbyes to the space station's three crew members and undock early Sunday. Once undocked, the crew planned to fly around the space station to get the first complete view of the orbiting space lab in several years, reports AP.
"We're leaving it in an entirely different configuration than it was when we arrived," said Atlantis pilot Chris Ferguson. "So it would be very good ... to get a good look at the overall configuration and condition of the station."
The Atlantis crew delivered to the space station a 17 1/2-ton addition and, during three spacewalks, hooked up the new segment and prepared it so the 240-foot (72-meter) solar energy arrays could be opened up. The solar arrays will provide a quarter of the space station's electricity when it is finished in 2010.
Since the likes of the traditional Inauguration Day in the national Capitol are likely never to be witnessed again, take this opportunity from one who has been there to relate some truth about the experience