Retired astronaut, Mark Kelly, has announced his bid to run for US Senate in 2020.
You might remember hearing about his identical twin brother, Scott Kelly, who recently returned from the ISS after a year in orbit. The research done by NASA and Scott Kelly during the One Year Mission allowed scientists to understand the long term affects of a zero-g environment.
It helped that the Kelly’s are identical twins as well as both astronauts, with one staying on terra-firma while the other was in orbit. This allowed scientists to have a control subject with which to base changes that occurred to Scott Kelly’s body while in space.
But who is Mark Kelly?
He’s a resident of the state of Arizona, a retired astronaut and US Navy Captain, as well as husband to former Senator Gabby Giffords. Captain Kelly received a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering and Nautical Science with Honors in 1986. He then earned his Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1994.
Kelly flew as pilot on STS-121 Discovery in July 2006, commander of STS-124 Discovery in September 2008, and as commander once again on STS-134 which was to be Endeavour’s last flight.
Kelly’s running as a Democrat for the State of Arizona, with promises to work hard on issues that are important many other Democrats, nationwide. (You can see his campaign video here)
As a scientist, he plans to look in to ways to help work toward reversing the effects of climate change, an important issue for those of us living in desert regions suffering near constant droughts. He is also going to take a stand on affordable healthcare, job growth, as well as gun control.
For him, common sense gun control is an issue that is close to his heart ever since his wife was shot in the head during a public event in 2011. In 2013, Kelly and Giffords created “Americans for Responsible Solutions,” a non-profit organization that works toward balanced solutions to gun violence that would preserve the Second Amendment rights of citizens while limiting the influencing power of the NRA.
As a Navy veteran who fought in the Gulf War, he retired in 2011 from both the US Navy and NASA in order to be there for his wife, full time.
“I learned a lot from being an astronaut. I learned a lot from being a pilot in the Navy. I learned a lot about solving problems from being an engineer. But what I learned from my wife is how you use policy to improve people’s lives,” Kelly states in his campaign video.