Astronaut Mark Kelly Announces Retirement from NASA

Mark Kelly
Astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of wounded U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, on Tuesday announced that he will retire from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on October 1 in order to focus on his family.

“We salute Commander Mark Kelly and his contributions to NASA as an extremely accomplished member of the astronaut corps and the final commander of the space shuttle Endeavour,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

Kelly, also a U.S. Navy captain, is a veteran of four space shuttle missions. He announced his retirement in a post on his Facebook account and via his Twitter account as well.

“This was not an easy decision. Public service has been more than a job for me and for my family,” Kelly wrote. “There isn’t a group more dedicated to its mission or more capable than the outstanding men and women of NASA.”

Kelly commanded the STS-134 flight in May and STS-124 in 2008. He served as the pilot on STS-121 in 2006 and STS-108 in 2001. He first joined NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1996.

“We know that Mark will continue to do great things for his country no matter what he chooses to do next. He has helped us build a space program poised to take advantage of the many opportunities in our bright future,” added Bolden.

Read More