52 Facts About Mark Kelly

1.

Mark Edward Kelly was born on February 21, 1964 and is an American politician, businessman, retired astronaut, and U S Navy captain serving as the junior United States senator from Arizona since December 2020.

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2.

Mark Kelly flew combat missions during the Gulf War as a naval aviator before being selected as a NASA Space Shuttle pilot in 1996.

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3.

Mark Kelly flew his first space mission in 2001 as pilot of STS-108, piloted STS-121 in 2006, and commanded STS-124 in 2008 and STS-134 in 2011, the final mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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4.

Mark Kelly's identical twin Scott Kelly is a retired astronaut; they are the only siblings to have both traveled in space.

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5.

Mark Kelly won the Democratic primary on August 4, 2020, and defeated incumbent Republican Martha McSally in the November 3, 2020, general election, becoming the first Democrat to win this seat since 1962.

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6.

Mark Kelly was born on February 21, 1964, in Orange, New Jersey, and raised in West Orange, New Jersey.

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7.

Mark Kelly received a Bachelor of Science in marine engineering and nautical science from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, graduating with highest honors in 1986.

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8.

In December 1987, Mark Kelly became a naval aviator and received initial training on the A-6E Intruder attack aircraft.

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9.

Mark Kelly has logged more than 5, 000 hours in more than 50 different aircraft and has over 375 carrier landings.

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10.

Mark Kelly has received two Defense Superior Service Medals; one Legion of Merit; two Distinguished Flying Crosses; four Air Medals with Combat "V"; two Navy Commendation Medals, (one with combat "V"); one Navy Achievement Medal; two Southwest Asia Service Medals; one Navy Expeditionary Medal; two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; a NASA Distinguished Service Medal; and an Overseas Service Ribbon.

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11.

On June 21, 2011, Kelly announced his retirement from the U S Navy and NASA, effective October 1, 2011.

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12.

Mark Kelly's retirement was announced on his Facebook page, where he wrote, "Words cannot convey my deep gratitude for the opportunities I have been given to serve our great nation.

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13.

In July 2006, Mark Kelly piloted STS-121 Discovery, the second "Return to Flight" mission following the loss of Columbia in February 2003.

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14.

Just before liftoff, Mark Kelly said, "While we've all prepared for this event today, the discoveries from Kibo will definitely offer hope for tomorrow.

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15.

Mark Kelly was the commander of the mission which was Space Shuttle Endeavour's last.

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16.

When Scott Mark Kelly went to the ISS on October 7, 2010, STS-134 was scheduled to go to the station during his mission.

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17.

On June 21, 2011, Kelly announced that he would leave NASA's astronaut corps and the U S Navy effective October 1.

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18.

Mark Kelly cited Giffords's needs during her recovery as a reason for his retirement.

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19.

In 2014, Giffords and Mark Kelly coauthored Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence.

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20.

In 2015, Kelly and Martha Freeman cowrote Astrotwins: Project Blastoff, a fictional story about twins Scott and Mark who build a space capsule in their grandfather's backyard and try to send the first kid into orbit.

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21.

Mark Kelly is co-founder and strategic advisor of Tucson-based near-space exploration company World View Enterprises.

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22.

On March 28, 2012, SpaceX announced that Mark Kelly would be part of an independent safety advisory panel composed of leading human spaceflight safety experts.

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23.

On March 31, 2013, Mark Kelly said, "any bill that does not include a universal background check is a mistake.

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24.

On February 12, 2019, Mark Kelly announced that he would run as a Democrat in the 2020 United States Senate special election in Arizona.

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25.

Mark Kelly looked to unseat incumbent Republican Martha McSally, a fellow veteran who was appointed to the position shortly after losing the 2018 Senate election to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

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26.

Mark Kelly declined to accept campaign contributions from corporate political action committees, but did accept thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from corporate executives and lobbyists.

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27.

Mark Kelly is the fourth retired astronaut to be elected to Congress, after John Glenn, Harrison Schmitt, and Jack Swigert.

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28.

On December 2, 2020, Kelly cast his first Senate vote, a "no" vote on the nomination of Kathryn C Davis to the United States Court of Federal Claims.

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29.

Mark Kelly voted to convict in Trump's second impeachment trial, along with 56 other senators.

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30.

Mark Kelly ran as a moderate in 2020 and voiced support for bipartisanship.

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31.

Mark Kelly has criticized Joe Biden's approach to border security.

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32.

Mark Kelly has voiced support for climate action, but does not support the Green New Deal.

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33.

In 2022, Mark Kelly was one of two Democrats to join Republicans in voting for a measure to block use of a presidential climate emergency declaration to accelerate climate efforts.

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34.

In 2022, Mark Kelly advocated for an expansion of oil drilling in the wake of rising gas prices.

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35.

Mark Kelly voted for the bipartisan gun bill in response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

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36.

Mark Kelly supports building on the Affordable Care Act to include a public health insurance option.

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37.

In 2020, Mark Kelly said he favored strong border security but opposed construction of the Trump wall.

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38.

On Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Mark Kelly says that "Dreamers are as American as anyone, " and has expressed support for it.

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39.

In February 2021, Mark Kelly voted to convict Trump for incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment trial, and has been outspoken in his disdain of Donald Trump.

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40.

At the time of their marriage, Mark Kelly lived in Houston, Texas, and said that the longest stretch of time the two had spent together was a couple of weeks.

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41.

Mark Kelly said that they did not plan to always live that way, but that it was what they were used to.

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42.

In 2018, Mark Kelly made a joke, saying “He's like halfway between an orangutan and a Howler Monkey.

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43.

Mark Kelly said that he believed people's prayers for her helped.

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44.

Mark Kelly flew from Houston to Tucson with members of his family.

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45.

Giffords and Mark Kelly had spoken dozens of times about how risky her job was.

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46.

Mark Kelly's was afraid that someone with a gun would come up to her at a public event.

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47.

Mark Kelly sat between First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona.

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48.

Mark Kelly spoke on February 3, 2011, at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC.

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49.

Mark Kelly said the attack on his wife brought him closer to God and gave him a newfound awareness regarding prayer.

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50.

Mark Kelly said that before the attack, "I thought the world just spins and the clock just ticks and things happen for no particular reason", but that, in Tucson, as he found himself wandering in makeshift memorials and shrines filled with Bibles and angels, "You pray where you are.

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51.

In 2011, Mark Kelly said he believed there was a chance to change a political environment he believed was too vitriolic.

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52.

Mark Kelly hoped that the tragedy would be an opportunity to improve the tone of the national dialogue and cool down the rhetoric.

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