Astronaut Mark Kelly, our thoughts are with you

Today, our thoughts are with the families of the twenty people killed and injured in Saturday’s shooting in Tucson. We extend our condolences to those who lost a family member or friend, and we are pulling for those whose family member or friend is facing difficult recovery.

Astronaut Mark Kelly is the husband of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and remains in critical condition as we write this post. They were married in November 2007, and met four years before that, when they were both in China. (Click here to read the New York Times article about their nuptials.) Mark Kelly is scheduled to command the last space shuttle mission, STS-134 in April on Endeavour.

Mark Kelly’s twin brother, Scott, is an astronaut in the midst of a six-month stint on the International Space Station. Today, he participated in a national observance for the victims, saying, “As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.” (Click here to read the Washington Post story.)

In 2008, Gabrielle Giffords chose the wake-up song for the crew on her husband’s flight on Discovery. To listen to a story about Giffords, Kelly, and the band Calexico, click here.

Mark Kelly has expressed gratitude for support and suggested that those who would like to help can make a donation to the Community Food Bank in Tuscon or to the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross. Read his full statement here.

The couple appeared together at Space Vision 2009, organized by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. This gathering is the largest, student-run space conference. Giffords introduced her husband’s talk, which we repost below.

9 thoughts on “Astronaut Mark Kelly, our thoughts are with you

  1. I am terribly sadden by this news but it is no more a tragedy than those who are shot every night in our cities and receive a three second flash on the nightly news.I thought things would change when Brady was shot and that was during the Regan era.I realize they will say the shooter was crazy but maybe he would have stayed ‘just crazy” instead of becoming a murderer if he had not been able to purchase a gun as easily as i can purchase gum.

  2. I learned on tonight’s episode of the Colbert Report that Mark kelly taught Stephen Colbert how to land the space shuttle.

    Also, in 2007, COngresswoman Giffords selected U2’s “It’s a Beautiful Day” for the crew’s wake up call.

  3. Thank you, Anna and Doug, for this thoughtful reflection and for making us aware of a new and poignant angle on the story.

  4. On “the courage to follow your heart,” the importance of “interdisciplinary humanities,” and “the supreme value of the soul,” here’s Gabrielle Giffords’ commencement speech at Scripps College in 2009:

    “The safety of the world depends on your ability to say no to inhumane ideas.”

  5. A Huffington Post piece about NASA, Gabrielle Giffords, and Mark Kelly:

    Until Discovery’s November launched was delayed, thereby bumping the last shuttle flight to April, twin brothers Mark and Scott had been scheduled to meet in space. Now, Scott tweets from the ISS: “I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, words of condolences and encouragement for the victims and their families of this horrific event.”

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