13 Jan Matt Kowalski: Astronaut

Matt Kowalski an astronaut died on October 4, 2013.  He and Ryan Stone, a medical engineer, were adrift in space after an accident.  Ryan Stone credits Kowalski for saving her life.  The tether holding them together broke and at the last moment when they were trying to retrieve a module to head back to earth, Stone’s leg became entangled on some parachute lines.  Stone then grabbed Kowalski’s tether, just barely stopping him from flying off into space.  Kowalski realized that his momentum would carry them both away, now over Stone’s protests in a heroic moment he decoupled his end of the tether so that Stone could survive.  The tension in the lines pulled her back towards the International Space Station.  As Kowalski floated away, he radioed Ryan with additional instructions about how to get to the Chinese space station and encouraged her to continue her survival mission.  Kowalski is described by friends and colleagues as a lover of vodka & country music, was able to reminisce on past stories, could relate to anyone during the worst situations.  Funeral arrangements will be coordinated by NASA.