MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
The astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis received a special call today.
CHRISTOPHER FERGUSON: Hello, Mr. President. You're talking to the Increment 28 crew and the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis.
BARACK OBAMA: Oh, that's funny, see, because I was just dialing out for pizza.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Houston, we have in order. President Obama phoned the Atlantis crew, along with the crew of the International Space Station.
NORRIS: And all joking aside, Mr. Obama thanked the astronauts for their hard work. He said their mission marks a new era of pushing the limits of space exploration, ultimately working toward a trip to Mars.
SIEGEL: And back to the jokes, the president offered his sympathies when one of the astronauts said they'd all become a big family in a short amount of time.
OBAMA: You need to be like a family 'cause I'm assuming you have to share pretty cramped quarters and a bathroom. So, you know, my wife and my daughters are always crowding me out.
SIEGEL: But shuttle Commander Chris Ferguson assured the president that as far as the rest of the universe is concerned, the accommodations really aren't so bad.
FERGUSON: We actually have three bathrooms on board. And we have a gym. We have several bedrooms. It's probably one of the more spacious homes that there is outside of planet Earth.
NORRIS: And what have a view. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.