June 19, 2019

NASA chief too busy to call parents in Bath

BATH – NASA Director Sean O’Keefe hasn’t even had a chance to talk to his mother since the space shuttle Columbia exploded over the skies of Texas on Saturday morning.

“We hope to talk to him within a couple of days,” said Patsy O’Keefe who, with her husband, Patrick, lives in Bath.

The senior O’Keefes were in Florida when the Columbia was launched Jan. 16. “We saw it go up into space,” O’Keefe said. “It was really beautiful.”

O’Keefe said her son has been flying between Florida and Washington since receiving the bad news Saturday. “We haven’t expected him to call,” she said. “He’s been so busy and this is such a terrible thing to happen.”

Sean O’Keefe, who was appointed chief of NASA in December 2001, was in Maine last December to speak to the Casco Bay Navy League. O’Keefe’s mother and father moved to Bath after Sean grew up.

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