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.
Mark is the son of two police officers, and he attended public schools from elementary school through the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. As a naval aviator he 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.
Mark was selected as an astronaut in 1996 in the same class as his twin brother Scott. 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.
Mark and his wife Gabby made their permanent home in Arizona in 2012 after he left NASA and retired from the Navy and she resigned from Congress to focus on her rehabilitation and recovery. Mark’s daughter Claire recently graduated from Arizona State University and his oldest daughter Claudia lives in Tucson.
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.