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Author Topic:   Astronaut Mark Kelly's post-NASA career
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2011 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronaut Mark Kelly Announces Plans to Retire from NASA

NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly has announced his plans to retire from the agency on Oct. 1. He is a veteran of four space shuttle missions.

"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. "We deeply respect his achievements and his decision to focus on his family. We continue to send out our thoughts and prayers to Mark and his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as she makes a remarkable recovery. 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."

Kelly announced his retirement Tuesday on Facebook and via his Twitter account. On Facebook, he wrote, "This was not an easy decision. Public service has been more than a job for me and for my family." He added, "I know that as our space program evolves, there are those who will question NASA's future. I am not among them. 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 joined NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1996.

Statement by Capt. Mark Kelly via Facebook
Retirement from United States Navy and NASA

Today, I am humbled to announce that after 25 years of service to our country, I am retiring from the United States Navy and leaving NASA, effective Oct. 1.

Words cannot convey my deep gratitude for the opportunities I have been given to serve our great nation. From the day I entered the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the summer of 1982 to the moment I landed the Space Shuttle Endeavour three weeks ago, it has been my privilege to advance the ideals that define the United States of America.

This was not an easy decision. Public service has been more than a job for me and for my family. My brother continues to serve in NASA and in the Navy. My parents are retired police officers. And my wife Gabrielle proudly serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Early in my career, I served in Operation Desert Storm, flying combat missions from the aircraft carrier USS Midway. Today, the men and women of the armed forces continue to serve in combat zones throughout the globe. There is no higher calling. These are the people who inspire me with their sacrifice and timeless sense of duty.

In 1996, I began a 15-year career at NASA that has taken me to the International Space Station four times aboard space shuttles Endeavour and Discovery. Recently, I was given the unique opportunity to be the final commander of Endeavour. I will be forever grateful to the NASA managers who trusted me with this enormous responsibility during such a difficult period in my personal life and to those leaders in the United States Navy who prepared me to handle these challenging times.

I know that as our space program evolves, there are those who will question NASA's future. I am not among them. There isn't a group more dedicated to its mission or more capable than the outstanding men and women of NASA. Exploration is a critical component of what makes our country great. We will continue to explore and NASA will continue to lead that effort.

As life takes unexpected turns we frequently come to a crossroads. I am at this point today. Gabrielle is working hard every day on her mission of recovery. I want to be by her side. Stepping aside from my work in the Navy and at NASA will allow me to be with her and with my two daughters. I love them all very much and there is no doubt that we will move forward together. After some time off, I will look at new opportunities and am hopeful that one day I will again serve our country.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2011 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Arizona Republic reports that Kelly will work with his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, on a memoir detailing their lives before and after Giffords was shot in the head during a constituent event near Tucson, Arizona in January.
Giffords is focused on getting better, Kelly said, and he'll handle the bulk of the book work, along with collaborating author Jeffrey Zaslow, a Wall Street Journal columnist who penned bestseller The Last Lecture and co-wrote pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's memoir. The book will be published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Giffords will be more involved as she improves, Kelly said...

In keeping with the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the couple will not receive advance pay for their book, said Robert Barnett, the couple's attorney, who also handles author representation for luminaries the likes of President Barack Obama, former president George W. Bush, Sen. Hillary Clinton and singer-actress Barbara Streisand. The book contract will be reviewed by the House Ethics Committee. Giffords and Kelly are permitted to receive royalties, Barnett said, and plan to donate a portion of their profits to Tucson and Arizona charities.

There isn't a timeline for the memoir because the couple's priority is to offer the "best book we possibly can," Kelly said. "It will focus on our lives together, and her rehab - which she is 100 percent focused on - and on our lives before we met."

Kelly said he isn't sure what his long-term future will hold.

"I really don't know," he said. "I've gotten a lot of advice from people to take some time and think about it."

He brushes off talk of entering politics himself.

"Gabby is the politician in our family. I'm the space guy," he said. "I really feel she's coming back strong. I tell her we will accept nothing less than 100 percent. She's very motivated, and we're all going to be very amazed by where she is in six months."

DChudwin
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From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-21-2011 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark Kelly (and his brother Scott) are great patriots who have served our country well. Mark showed great courage (grace under pressure) and concentration by flying his last shuttle flight while his wife Gabby was recovering from her head wounds. Godspeed to both of them.

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 06-21-2011 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A better man would be hard to find. Thank you for all your service to us and our country.

chappy
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From: Cardiff, S. Wales, UK
Registered: Apr 2006

posted 06-21-2011 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark, thanks for your excellent service for over 15 years at NASA, and you have contributed lots of things for over 15 years and we SALUTE you, Mark on behalf of British space buffs...

ringo67
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From: Seekonk, Mass., USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 06-21-2011 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can only thank them both for their service and in the naval tradition wish them fair winds and following seas.

SpaceAngel
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From: Maryland
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posted 06-21-2011 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why retire on October 1st; why not now (i.e. today (figure of speech, by the way))?

dabolton
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From: Round Lake, IL, US
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posted 06-21-2011 10:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember reading in Air & Space about the next American to walk on the moon and the Kelly brothers were listed as potentials. I guess with the discontinuation of Ares V this wasnt unlikely to happen anyhow. Wonder how long his brother will stay in the program.

Fezman92
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From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 06-21-2011 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for everything Captain. I wish you and your family the best of luck. Fair winds and following seas. Thanks for representing us New Jersians (Jersyites? Never had to think about the citizenness (yes I made that word up) of people from New Jersey....

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 06-21-2011 11:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Before Tuscon thrust Mark into the public eye, I got the sense that he was one of the good guys. You could see it in how he conducted himself and the things he did. Scott was the same as well of course, although his path is a little different.

The first shuttle launch I attended was his second as pilot and part of the reason I did the STS-124 spoof patch (with the toilet roll replacing Kibo on it) was because I figured Mark would be a good sport about it and appreciate the laugh. Wish I had the opportunity to meet him to interview him for my book, but once the shooting took place, I knew the chances of that happening were going to be as remote as ever. Whatever new challenge life throws at Mark and Gabby, they will accept it and excel. Of that I am certain.

As for retirements, they take time. The paperwork has to be filed with two agencies (NASA and the Navy), and all sorts of behind the scenes stuff has to happen. The date might also be related to their hiring date as to qualify for the full 25 years of service benefits. Plus, when an astronaut announces their are leaving or retiring, they don't spend the next few months doing nothing. Mark is going to likely be busy with a lot of things as the duties he was assigned after STS-134 will likely be handed off to other people in his department. Then there are the arrangements that will need to be made at home. Will he move to Tuscon, will he stay in Houston? Will the house he has in Houston even sell in this current economy? All these things have to happen before the ceremony and the party.

As for Scott, I think he will stick around. His experience as both a shuttle and ISS commander is invaluable from a management standpoint (and he has held a NASA management job at Star City). Plus, his stick and rudder skills make him a good possible choice for commanding a mission on whatever the next NASA spacecraft is when it finally flies (provided it isn't too long a wait). If Peggy wasn't the current chief astronaut, I could easily see Scott in that role. But I believe Peggy is going to be chief astronaut for the long haul given her management experience, command and science background.

spaceman1953
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From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 06-22-2011 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dr. Dave, we never talked much since the "heyday" (for me) of space collecting, but your words summed up my feelings exactly after reading Mark's statement in full. Thanks!

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 06-22-2011 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only two shutle launches I've seen were Mark's: STS-121 (Pilot) and STS-124 (Commander). I had the pleasure of meeting Mark when he came to the UK National Space Centre, post STS-121. He was so kind to my 8yr old son and came across as a thoroughly pleasant and modest guy.

I wish him and his wife well in his retirement.

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
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posted 06-22-2011 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAngel:
Why retire on October 1st; why not now (i.e. today (figure of speech, by the way))?

Because the military's fiscal year, as well as the country's starts 10/1. It's easier to figure retirement and military longevity that way.

astro-nut
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From: washington, Illinois USA
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posted 06-23-2011 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I, too, would like to wish Captain Kelly the very best on his retirement. I wish him and Gabby all the best in everything!! Captain Kelly thank you for your service in the U.S. Navy and during the Gulf War and for your outstanding NASA career as well!! Gabby thank you for your service to our nation as a great American and all the best to you in all your future plans!! God Bless!!!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-28-2011 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keppler Speakers release
Keppler Speakers Exclusively Representing Astronaut Mark Kelly

Astronaut Mark Kelly will be accepting a limited number of speeches and personal appearances following his retirement from NASA and the US Navy. Kelly has signed a representation agreement with Keppler Speakers.

A veteran of the Gulf War and four space shuttle missions, Commander Kelly made history serving as commander of Space Shuttle Endeavour's final flight into space. He successfully led both Endeavour and Discovery, and with 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft, 39 combat missions, and more than 50 days in space, Mark Kelly is one of America's most experienced pilots.

Already a celebrated American, Mark Kelly became the center of international attention after the January assassination attempt on his wife, US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Kelly and Giffords are writing a memoir about their experience which will be published late this year.

Jim Keppler, president of Keppler Speakers, says, "The whole world has been captivated by the story of Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords. Mark's heroism at home, in space, and on the battlefield personify the leadership and strength that is needed in these challenging times." Mark Kelly says, "I look forward to sharing my story with audiences in a way that will allow healing and strength to emerge from a tragic event, and to remind everyone about the resiliency of the human spirit."

Keppler Speakers also represents such prominent public speakers as astronauts Jim Lovell and Eileen Collins, baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr., environmentalists Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Jean-Michel Cousteau, entertainer Garrison Keillor, political figures Bob Dole and Tom Daschle, and numerous others.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28279
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-06-2011 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
White House photo release

Credit: Official White House Photo by David Lienemann

Captain Mark Kelly speaks at his retirement ceremony with Vice President Joe Biden in the Secretary of War Suite in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2011.


Credit: Official White House Photo by David Lienemann

Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after receiving the Legion of Merit from the Vice President.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-08-2013 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
World View Enterprises release
NASA astronaut Mark Kelly named Director of Flight Crew Operations for World View Enterprises' human flights to the edge of space

World View Enterprises, Inc. (World View) has announced that former astronaut Mark Kelly will be Director of Flight Crew Operations. A retired U.S. Navy test pilot and Space Shuttle Commander, Kelly will play a central role in the start-up commercial space business, which began taking reservations today for its accessible, affordable trips to the edge of space via high-altitude balloon.

During his career in the U.S. Navy, Kelly accumulated 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft with 375 aircraft carrier landings. He flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. He later joined NASA's astronaut corps, where he piloted two Space Shuttle flights and commanded two others, including Endeavour on its final mission.

"Having served 25 years as an aviator and astronaut, Mark possesses the prowess and acumen needed to pioneer this exciting new regime of flight at the edge of space," said Jane Poynter, CEO of World View. "As Director of Flight Crew Operations, he will provide the necessary technical expertise to our development program, as well as manage World View's one-of-a-kind flights and top-notch flight crew."

World View will provide a spectacular, nearspace human flight experience unlike any other suborbital flight experience being offered today. Passengers, dubbed "Voyagers," will board a luxuriously appointed, space-qualified capsule that will be gently lifted by a high-altitude balloon to 100,000 feet. There, they will float in the edge of space for approximately two hours, absorbing breathtaking views of the planet, the blackness of space and the stars, before gliding back to Earth.

"For decades, only select, highly trained individuals have been able to leave the boundaries of Earth and experience space travel," Kelly said. "Now, World View is offering private individuals the opportunity to gain a new perspective of the world we live in. I am thrilled to be part of this project and look forward to the start of operations."

See here for more about World View Enterprise's high-altitude balloon flights.

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