Twin NASA Astronauts, Mark and Scott Kelly, to Speak at U of A in April

Astronauts Scott and Mark.Kelly
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Astronauts Scott and Mark.Kelly

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Retired NASA astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly will speak at the University of Arkansas at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in Bud Walton Arena as part of the student-sponsored Distinguished Lecture Series.

The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

The Kellys are identical twin brothers who both reached the rank of captain in the U.S. Navy, serving as fighter and test pilots before joining NASA as space shuttle pilots. They are the only known siblings who have both traveled in space.

Their careers have been very similar, if not quite identical.

Mark Kelly flew 39 combat missions for the Navy during the first Gulf War. He flew on four space shuttle missions, two as pilot and two as commander. He retired from NASA in 2011 to help his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, continue recovering from an assassination attempt on her life.

Scott Kelly flew two missions on the space shuttle, one as pilot and one as commander and served as commander of the International Space Station on three missions. On his third mission he spent 340 consecutive days on the space station, in part as a unique experiment: NASA monitored Scott Kelly’s body in the space station and Mark Kelly’s on Earth, to determine if there were any genetic effects or physical differences caused by an extended time living in space.

Scott Kelly ended this mission with the record for accumulated time in space by an American astronaut, a total of 382 days. He retired from NASA in 2016.

The title of their lecture, "To Infinity and Beyond! Extraordinary Life Lessons from the Kelly Brothers," reflects the siblings’ achievements, and their sense of humor.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is a student-sponsored program. Speakers are chosen by a committee of students, faculty and staff, and the events are funded by a student-approved fee, appropriated by the Programs Allocation Board. Recent speakers have included Bill Nye, Brandon Stanton and Abby Wambach.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Rachel Ungar, chair
Distinguished Lecture Series committee
479-575-5255, lectures@uark.edu

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu


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