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NASA Inducts Roy Bridges & Mark Kelly Into Astronaut Hall of Fame

The 2023 Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony celebrating NASA Astronauts Roy D. Bridges Jr. and Senator Mark Kelly.

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Dakota W.

Dakota W.

Sat May 06 2023Written by Dakota W.

Space Shuttle Astronauts Roy D. Bridges Jr. and Mark Kelly were inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame today during a special ceremony inside the Atlantis Exhibit under the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex.

Cheered on by family, several retired members of the Astronaut corps, and several NASA Leadership including Director Bill Nelson, Astronauts Bridges and Kelly shared stories of their historic leadership aboard the Space Shuttle.

Roy D. Bridges

Roy D. Bridges born and raised in Northeast Georgia is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering Science, and a Master's Degree in Astronautics from Purdue University. While in the Air Force, he flew F-100s in the Vietnam War. After his tour in combat, he became a test pilot for the Air Force, and this led to his selection for NASA's Astronaut Group 9 in 1980. He began Shuttle Flight Training and was selected as the pilot and flew Challenger aboard STS-51-F, July 29th - August 6th, 1985. STS-51-F is famous for being the only mission to abort after launching after sensor failure caused an ATO (Abort to Orbit) procedure to be instituted. Roy retired from the Air Force in 1996 and became the Director of Kennedy Space Center in 1997 until 2003 when he became the director of Langley Research Center in 2003. He currently works as a business executive for Northrop Grumman.

Senator Mark Kelly

Senator Mark Kelly was born in New Jersey and graduated with the Highest Honors in Marine Engineering and Naval Science from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1986. He joined the Navy in December 1987, and began flight training on the A-6E fighter jet. He served in the Persian Gulf and Gulf War. After receiving his Master's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Naval Post Graduate School in 1994, he was selected as a test pilot for the US Navy Test Pilot Program. Senator Kelly and his brother Scott, were selected in 1996 to join NASA's Astronaut Group 16, marking the first Twin Astronauts in any Astronaut Corps. Senator Kelly was selected as a Shuttle Pilot and first flew aboard Endeavor STS-108 in 2001. He then flew as the pilot Discovery STS-121 in 2005. He commanded Discovery STS-124 in 2008, and commanded the final mission of Discovery STS-134 in 2011. He retired from NASA in 2011 to aide in the recovery of his wife who was in attendance today. Since his election in 2020, NASA Astronaut Mark Kelly serves as a US Senator from Arizona.

The Launch Pad Network was honored to be in attendance for the induction, and have a chance to speak with Astronauts Bridges and Kelly.