Mark Kelly
NASA astronaut, naval aviator, politician

Scott Kelly
NASA astronaut, naval aviator, engineer
Twins, born: February 21, 1964, in Orange, New Jersey
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2017: Public Service

Given their penchant for poking fun at each other, identical twins Mark and Scott Kelly likely would have made a great comedy team. Fortunately for mankind, they opted instead to become naval aviators and astronauts, and will be forever linked as the only siblings to have both traveled in space.

Born in Orange, the sons of police officers, Mark and Scott grew up in West Orange and attended Mountain High School. Mark earned a bachelor of science degree in marine engineering and nautical science from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Scott received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College and a master’s in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee.

After completing his undergraduate degree, Mark trained as a naval aviator and flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm, the 1991 military response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He later trained as a U.S. Navy test pilot and logged more than 5,000 hours in more than 50 different aircraft. Scott was commissioned an ensign after his graduation. He trained as a U.S. Navy jet pilot and was deployed to the North Atlantic and the Persian Gulf. He later trained with his brother as a test pilot and flew over 8,000 hours in more than 40 aircraft. Both men attained the rank of captain.

In 1996, NASA selected both brothers to be Space Shuttle pilots. Mark would log 54 days in space over four Space Shuttle missions, from 2001-2011, serving as commander of his latter two missions. Scott flew three Shuttle missions before commencing an historic year-long mission in March 2015. As part of the experimental nature of the mission, Scott participated in a comparative study on the effects of spaceflight with Mark as the ground control subject.

After retiring from NASA, Mark became a high-profile advocate for gun control, founding a nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Solutions, along with his wife, the former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who had been shot and nearly killed in a 2011 assassination attempt. Mark won a seat in the U.S. Senate from Arizona in a special election in 2019 and was re-elected to a full term in 2022. He also is the author of four books (two co-written with Giffords) and co-founder and strategic advisor of Tucson-based near-space exploration company World View Enterprises.

Following his retirement from NASA in 2016, Scott was appointed United Nations Champion for Space, helping raise awareness for a UN initiative to promote peaceful international cooperation in outer space. His 2017 memoir, “Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery,” describes his career as a NASA astronaut.

In a typically light-hearted moment, Scott took a jab at Mark during their 2017 New Jersey Hall of Fame induction, claiming, “The great thing about being in space for a year is that you can’t hear your twin brother whining.”

Intro/Acceptance Video