Mark Edward Kelly is an American politician, businessman, former astronaut retired U.S. Navy captain serving as the junior United States Senator from Arizona since 2020. A member of the Democratic Party, he won the 2020 special election, defeating incumbent Republican Martha McSally. Formerly an aerospace consultant and executive, Kelly is the author of several books.
Kelly flew combat missions during the Gulf War as a naval aviator before being selected as a NASA Space Shuttle pilot in 1996. He 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.
Kelly’s wife, then-Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot and nearly killed in an assassination attempt on January 8, 2011. Six people died in the Tucson shooting. After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting the following year, Giffords and Kelly founded the nonprofit Americans for Responsible Solutions, later renamed Giffords, which campaigns for universal background checks for firearms and red flag laws. Kelly won the 2020 United States Senate special election in Arizona and was sworn in on December 2, 2020.