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[i]Legendary space industry engineer Thomas J. O'Malley, 94, died Friday evening, shortly after a phone call from Mercury astronaut and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn, whom O'Malley launched into space in 1962 by pushing a button.
O'Malley had displayed the button in the den of his Cocoa Beach home.
Daughter Kathleen O'Malley said the conversation between Glenn and her father on Friday was brief, but she related hearing O'Malley say, "Hello, John Glenn," to the former astronaut.
He was called to the human spaceflight program in 1961, while working for the Convair division of General Dynamics, where he was a test engineer for the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile, according to family historian Cornelia Dean, O'Malley's niece. The Atlas missile had experienced a series of launch pad explosions...[/i]
Thomas J. O'Malley, left, and John Glenn sit in front of Friendship 7
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