Captain Mark Kelly

March 10, 2012 by staff 

Captain Mark Kelly, Mark Edward Kelly (born February 21, 1964) is a retired American astronaut, U.S. Navy captain and naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Gulf War. He was selected to become a NASA space shuttle pilot in 1996 and flew his first mission in 2001 as pilot of STS-108. He piloted STS-121 in 2006 and commanded STS-124 in 2008 and STS-134 in 2011. STS-134 was his final mission and the final mission of space shuttle Endeavour.

Kelly is married to U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, the target of an attempted assassination in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8, 2011. After the shooting, in which six people were killed, both Kelly and Giffords were thrust into the media spotlight. His wife’s shooting led to a broad national conversation ranging from the duties of a husband to what is acceptable civil discourse. The couple have penned a memoir (co-written with Jeffrey Zaslow) about their individual and shared experiences following the shooting, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope (ISBN 978-1451661064), released November 15, 2011.

Kelly married Amelia Victoria Babis January 7, 1989. They have two daughters, Claudia and Claire, now teenagers. He was divorced from Babis on October 7, 2004.

Kelly and wife Gabrielle Giffords in 2008
Kelly married U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Tucson, Arizona, on November 10, 2007, in a ceremony presided over by Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, and attended by his STS-124 shuttle crew and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. Reich toasted: “To a bride who moves at a velocity that exceeds that of anyone else in Washington, and a groom who moves at a velocity that exceeds 17,000 miles per hour.” The couple met on a 2003 trip to China as part of a trade mission sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

He lives in Houston. At the time of their marriage Kelly said that the longest period of time the two had spent together in one stretch was a couple of weeks. He said that they didn’t plan to always live that way, but that’s what they were used to. He added, “It teaches you not to sweat the small stuff.”

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