Sen. Mark Kelly joins list of astronauts to serve in Congress
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly was sworn into the Senate this afternoon on Capitol Hill. Senator Kelly will be replacing Republican Senator Martha McSally, whom he defeated by a narrow margin during the November 3 special election.
Kelly, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will finish out the late Arizona Sen. John McCain’s term through 20-22. Kelly is only the 4th astronaut to be elected to Congress. During his NASA career, Kelly flew four Space Shuttle missions delivering supplies to the International Space Station and testing new equipment. He spent more than 50 days in space throughout his career.
Dr. Tease Muir-Harmony at the National Air and Space Museum said Kelly’s years as an astronaut will serve him well in Congress.
“As an astronaut, he had to do a lot problem-solving on the job, working under really high- pressure situations and also cooperating with people, his crewmates in space. So all of those things really apply to being a politician,” said Dr. Muir-Harmony.
In the Senate currently, there are 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats and 2 Independents.
Kelly is joining during a “lame duck” session. We reached out to Senator Kelly for comments but his press team said he did not have time for an interview.
The three other astronauts elected to Congress were John Glenn, Harrison Schmitt and John Swigert.
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