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Man’s remains travel to space with NASA’s Orion

Kate, Colleen and Patrick O\'Malley before his passing in June 2014. (Courtesy Colleen O\'Malley)
It was his passion but not the biggest part of his life

wtopstaff | December 15, 2014 9:00 pm

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ARLINGTON – When NASA’s Orion
spacecraft launched Friday, one of the people who made it possible wasn’t there
to
see it. But NASA made sure he was part of its launch-day success.

Father of two and aeronautical engineer, 37-year-old Patrick O’Malley worked for
more than a decade towards the launch of the Orion capsule.

“Gosh he was the best brother, the best brother ever,” says his sister Colleen
O’Malley.

After his passing from an undiagnosed brain illness, his colleagues at Lockheed
Martin requested part of O’Malley’s cremated remains travel with Orion into the
heavens.

O’Malley says her brother’s wife, Courtney, agreed to the idea. While she could
not make the launch, Patrick’s wife, two daughters and parents were there.
O’Malley’s father sent a video of the launch.

“It honestly looked like an angel ascending right up there,” his sister says.

She says it was a fitting send off for her little brother.

“Its a great honor. It’s a continuation of the adventure for him. I mean he was
always excited about the next thing. I just feel like this is a really great
metaphor for him and his life,” she says.

O’Malley’s remains were recovered from the capsule when it returned to
atmosphere in the Pacific Ocean.

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