Saturday, 2:15 PM
Even as a kid in Cohasset, astronaut had his eye on the sky
Bowen maneuvers down the cargo bay of the space shuttle Endeavor during the spacewalk.
By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff
Cohasset native Stephen G. Bowen used to read a lot of science fiction -- Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein -- and his sister recalls waiting with him in the field behind their house in the 1970s for the Skylab space station to pass by.
Steve Bowen (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)
Now Bowen is the one up in the sky.
Bowen is on the crew of the space shuttle and made news today because he was on a spacewalk Tuesday at the International Space Station in which a fellow astronaut let go of a toolbag that floated off into the void.
In an interview transmitted from space today, Bowen told The Associated Press that the accident was "just as much my mistake as anyone else's." But, he said, "You kind of know you have to move on, you keep moving on, trying to figure out how to best accomplish the job next."
In another interview, Bowen, 44, told WCVB-TV that Cohasset is a "beautiful small town. I spent almost half my entire life there. ... I'm always thinking of Cohasset." (Click play below to hear the interview.)
Bowen's sister, Nancy Atturio, 53, of Hanover, said her little brother was "kind of a goofy smart kid" when they were growing up.
"We're quite proud of him. It's an amazing thing. Something I think he's been working for his whole life," she said.
"He just loved to read. He stuck to the books, and it paid off for him," said John Atturio, 55, Nancy's husband, who has known Bowen since he was young.
Bowen, 44, is a US Navy captain, who now lives in the Houston area. Married with three children, he is the first submarine officer selected by NASA as a mission specialist.
The astronauts were trying to clean and lube a gummed-up joint on the space station's solar panel when a grease gun erupted in a backpack. The bag slipped out of astronaut Heidemarie Stefanshyn-Piper's grip.
The two continued to work with the tools in Bowen's tool bag.
"Everybody was very sympathetic and very supportive at the loss of the tool bag. Mostly, they were very happy we managed to get the job done, despite the loss of the tool bag," Bowen told WMSP-TV of Minneapolis in the series of interviews from space, which were shown on NASA TV.
The 15-day mission, which began Friday, is intended to repair the space station and prepare it to house six crew members for long durations. Four spacewalks are planned, pimarily to service the stationís solar arrays.