Captain Mark Kelly
Captain Mark Kelly is a retired U.S. Navy combat pilot, engineer, and NASA astronaut. He lives in Tucson with his wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
As a naval aviator, Mark made two deployments to the First Gulf War on the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Midway and flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and has logged more than 5,000 flight hours. He’s made over 375 carrier landings.
Mark has earned a number of awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and two Distinguished Flying Crosses, and he was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He flew his first of four missions into space in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same space shuttle he commanded on its final flight in May 2011.
Mark has spent more than 50 days in space, and has lived on the International Space Station. His identical twin brother, Scott Kelly, is also a retired U.S. Navy Captain and astronaut who served aboard the International Space Station on a yearlong mission. They are the only siblings who have traveled in space.
Mark moved to Arizona in 2012 after he retired from NASA to help his wife Gabby Giffords with her rehabilitation and recovery. Mark’s daughters Claudia and Claire also live in Arizona, with Claire attending Arizona State University.
In January 2013, in the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mark and Gabby co-founded the organization ‘GIFFORDS,’ which unites veterans, law enforcement officials, gun owners, faith leaders, and Americans of all stripes to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer.
Mark is also a co-founder of World View Enterprises, a Tucson-based small business that sends hardware into near-space using proprietary high altitude balloons.
Mark received a B.S. degree in Marine Engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an M.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
The son of two police officers, Mark was born in West Orange, New Jersey.