Captain Mark Kelly an astronaut with NASA since 1996 announced his retirement today from the U.S. Navy and NASA effective October 1. He has served his country with honor.
Kelly understandably wants to spend more time with his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as she continues her recovery following the Tucson tragedy. Even though many, including myself, knew little about them before that terrible day, people across the nation and the world now hold a special place in their hearts for the couple. I wish them all the best and look forward to reading the book they plan to work on together.
Included in his announcement was a wonderful sentiment that sums up the importance of continued space exploration and the crucial part NASA plays in leading us into the future.
"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." - Captain Mark Kelly on June 21, 2011