Mark Kelly

Co-founder, Giffords

Mark Kelly speaking

Captain Mark Kelly, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is a retired United States Navy combat veteran, test pilot, and NASA astronaut.

As a naval aviator, Captain Kelly made two deployments to the Persian Gulf on the aircraft carrier USS Midway and flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. He attended the US Naval Test Pilot School from June 1993 to June 1994 and has logged more than 5,000 hours in more than 50 different aircraft and has over 375 carrier landings.

The winner of many awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Distinguished Flying Cross, Captain Kelly was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He flew his first of four missions in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same space shuttle that he commanded on its final flight in May 2011.

Captain Kelly has spent more than 50 days in space and is one of only four individuals who has visited the International Space Station on four different occasions. Captain Kelly’s identical twin brother, Scott Kelly, is also an astronaut and served aboard the International Space Station on a year-long mission. They share the distinction of being the only siblings who have traveled in space.

Captain Kelly was thrust into the national spotlight in January 2011 after his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in an assassination attempt in Tucson, Arizona.

In January 2013, in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Captain Kelly and Congresswoman Giffords co-founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, now called Giffords, which encourages our country’s leaders to stand up for laws that make communities safer from gun violence.

Captain Kelly received a BS degree in Marine Engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an MS degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Naval Postgraduate School.

The son of two police officers, Captain Kelly is a native of West Orange, New Jersey. He currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.