Mark Kelly won a seat in the US Senate, making him point out The fourth NASA astronaut was elected to Congress.
Kelly, who launched into space four times before pursuing a career in politics, succeeded in trying to represent Arizona in the US Senate. Kelly, a Democrat, ran for the incumbent Martha McSally, a former fighter pilot of the US Air Force and the Republican party. Special elections are held to complete the six-year term of Sen. John McCain, who passed away in 2018 (McSally was temporarily appointed by the Arizona governor after McCain’s death).
“When we launched this campaign from this very position, right here, 619 days ago, I never predict how many Arizonians will be on this mission,” said Kelly, address to supporters at the Hotel Congress in Tucson on Tuesday night (November 3). “This quest doesn’t end when the last vote is counted. It’s just the beginning.”
Kelly won the election by 52.63 percent, according to the State Secretary of the State of Arizona.
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“When I was at NASA, we were going to train for two years on the space shuttle mission. Since in space shuttle simulation, flying and training, two years focusing on details. Two years ago before.” We were on the launch pad ready to go. And then the work started, “he said. “Now work begins.”
Kelly, who was married to former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, moved to Tucson in 2012 after he retired from NASA and the Giffords survived an assassination the year before. Together, the couple co-founded “Giffords” to advocate for reducing gun violence and making communities safer.
Kelly is likely to take office as early as the end of the month, pending state certification results of the election. When sworn in, Kelly will become the only active member of Congress to have flown in space. He stood in front of the legislative branch of the US government by three former NASA astronauts and two members of Congress, who flew on the space shuttle as a payload specialist.
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Kelly, a former captain of the US Navy, a naval pilot and test pilot who flew combat missions during Operation Desert Storm, was selected for NASA’s 1996 astronaut candidate class – together that group including his twin brother, Scott.
Kelly logged on over 54 days in space in four shuttle missions. He was a pilot on his first flight, STS-108, launched onto the space shuttle Endeavor to supply supplies to the International Space Station in 2001. Five years later, Kelly flew as a pilot. Space shuttle Discovery on STS-121, NASA’s second mission to return to flight after aircraft Columbia and its crew went missing in 2003.
Kelly commanded Discovery’s STS-124 crew in 2008, where the Japanese Kibo laboratory was installed on the space station. His fourth and final mission, STS-134, marks Endeavor’s last flight and sends the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a cosmic ray detector, attached to the station’s backbone. .
After leaving NASA, Kelly volunteered to perform an additional “mission”, allowing the agency’s scientists to collect his physiological and medical data while his brother provided similar data. during a year on the space station. The landmark “study of twins” helped reveal more about the long-term effects of space travel on the human body.
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The first astronaut to exchange his spaceship for a seat in Congress was John Glenn, The first Americans orbited the Earth. One of Mercury 7’s original astronauts, Glenn was a US Senator representing Ohio as a Democrat for four terms, from 1974 to 1999. After leaving office, Glenn, then 77, flew into orbit again, embarking on space shuttle Discovery like a payload specialist.
Apollo 13 Command Module pilot John “Jack” Swigert was elected to the US House of Representatives representing Colorado’s 6th district as a Republican in 1982, but died tragically from illness. cancer before he can take office.
Apollo 17’s lunar module pilot, Harrison “Jack” Schmitt became one of the last two people to walk on the moon in 1972 while serving the state of New Mexico in the Senate as a Republican. for six years, from 1977 to 1983.
Following the opposite route, Senator Jake Garn (R-UT) and Representative Bill Nelson (D-FL) were chosen to fly on the shuttle as parliamentary observers and payload specialist. a time when NASA was attempting to open the space to the passenger “citizen.” Garn joined the STS-51D crew on Discovery on a week-long mission to deploy two communication satellites in 1985.
Nelson, who was subsequently elected to the Senate, flew over Columbia with the crew STS-61C. The six-day mission, the last before the space shuttle Challenger tragedy, deployed a satellite and went on to science in 1986.
In addition to those five space explorers and Kelly, four other US astronauts ran for Congress, but were unsuccessful in their bid.
The Apollo 15 Command Module pilot, Al Worden, campaigned but lost the Republican primary vote to Florida’s 12th district seat in the House of Representatives in 1982. Skylab and crew member space shuttle Jack Lousma won the Republican primary election, but lost the election to become a senator from Michigan in 1984.
Jay Buckey, who flew as an STS-90 payload specialist on Columbia, withdrew his bid for a New Hampshire Senate seat ahead of the Democratic primary election in 2008. Two years later STS-128 mission expert José Hernández won the Democratic nomination. but lost the election for California’s 10th district seat in the House of Representatives.
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