Captain Mark Kelly
Commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Final Mission
Mark Kelly is an American astronaut, retired US Navy Captain, best selling-author, prostate cancer survivor, and an experienced naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Gulf War. The winner of many awards, including the Legion of Merit, two Defense Superior Service Medals and two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 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. He has also commanded Space Shuttle Discovery and is one of only two individuals who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions.
Already a celebrated American, Kelly became the center of international attention after the January 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, former US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. In their best-selling memoir, Gabby, the couple shares their story of hope and resilience with the world. The inspirational memoir has topped multiple best-seller lists, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon. Kelly and Giffords have captivated the nation with their story, appearing in an exclusive Diane Sawyer interview, and on Nightline and The Daily Show, among others, and have appeared on the covers of People and USA Today. Named on of the Esquire’s 2011 “Americans of the Year,” Kelly was also featured on the cover of and profiled in the magazine. Kelly has also written two children’s books about the space explorations of a little mouse chosen for space missions, Mousetronaut: A Partially True Story, and Mousetronaut Goes to Mars. In 2013, on the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting, Kelly and Giffords launched a political action committee aimed at curbing gun violence.
Kelly’s identical twin brother, Scott, is also an astronaut who served as commander of both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. They share the distinction of being the only siblings who have traveled in space.
With 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft, 375 aircraft carrier landings, 39 combat missions and more than 50 days in space, Astronaut Mark Kelly is one of our country’s most experienced pilots.
A sought-after keynote speaker, Mark Kelly is an American hero who inspires others to be their best while remaining true to their core values. He exemplifies leadership, the importance of teamwork, and courage under pressure.