NASA astronauts, from left, Jasmin Moghbeli, Matthew Dominick and Loral...

NASA astronauts, from left, Jasmin Moghbeli, Matthew Dominick and Loral O'Hara pose for a selfie inside the International Space Station's cupola, or "window to the world." Credit: NASA

Baldwin-raised astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli waited her entire life to look down at Earth. 

And the view, she said Monday, didn't disappoint.

“I dreamed about floating and flying as a kid and it totally lived up to expectations,” Moghbeli told reporters at a news conference from the Johnson Space Center in Houston after returning home March 12 with her four-person crew from six and a half months aboard the International Space Station. “I never got tired of it. I was playing with it until the very end of the mission and I'm very sad that I can't float here. And looking out the window — you just can't beat that view. It's spectacular every time.”

Moghbeli, commander of the SpaceX Crew-7, spent 199 days living and working aboard the space station and conducting hundreds of experiments and technology demonstrations, including testing materials in the space environment and observing thunderstorms to understand the effects of lightning and electrical activity on Earth’s climate and atmosphere.

A second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps who trained as a naval aviator before being deployed to Afghanistan, Moghbeli also completed her first — and quite eventful — career spacewalk in which she inadvertently lost a $100,000 crew lock bag.

Moghbeli told Newsday she thought the bag, essentially a toolbox about the size of a small suitcase, was tethered to a handrail but when it disappeared, “my heart sank … I knew right away it was gone. And that was a very hard moment for me.”

The “lost in space” moment gained international attention, much to Moghbeli's chagrin.

“You can do everything right for years and you make one mistake and everyone seems to know about it,” the Baldwin High School graduate said with a laugh.

Even while embarking on the journey of a lifetime, Moghbeli, the daughter of Iranian political refugees, concedes the mission left her homesick and missing her husband and twin daughters.

“You realize you're missing a lot of milestones back on Earth,” Moghbeli said, adding that she also missed her shower and the food back home.

She made up for lost time after returning to Earth, devouring a roast beef sub for lunch and a 16-ounce prime rib with fries for dinner.

While Moghbeli avoided motion sickness or nausea upon reentry, she felt wobbly and her legs “felt like lead afterward. … My neck was very tired from holding up my head. But very quickly my body readapted to gravity.”

The mission, she said, provided perspective about the shared connectiveness of the world's population as she watched nations zip by in a matter of seconds. 

“I wouldn't trade it for the world,” she said. “It was the most incredible thing I've ever done.”

Moghbeli will now spend some time improving her conditioning and conducting NASA debriefs before heading home for some well earned down time with the family.

“Then I will be ready for another spaceflight,” she said.

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

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Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

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