Retired Space Explorer Mark Kelly has emerged the winner for the United States Senate in Arizona on November 3, while the two Congress members who were part of the space agenda were not successful in their bids for the reelection. Kelly, who is a Democrat for a long time, was able to defeat the Republican candidate Martha McSally. Kelly won with a 52.6% margin against the Republican candidate who garnered 47.4% of the total votes cast; Arizona Secretary of State published results. These votes included mail-in ballots as well as the votes which were cast on November 3.
Kelly is a retired NASA space explorer who could fly on four different shuttle missions from 2001 to 2011. This including as the Chief Commanding Officer of the penultimate shuttle mission, STS-134, in 2011. After this last shuttle mission, he retired from the NASA agency. He is the husband to Gabrielle Giffords, who served as a congresswoman as well as the chairperson of the House Space subcommittee. His wife was able to survive an attempt on her life in the year 2011. In his campaign trail, he never discussed spacy policy. However, he did emphasize his experience as a United States Navy Pilot and space explorer.
Kelly will be joining a fellow elite group of retired astronauts who were successful in their bids for the congress. Some of the former astronauts who served in the NASA agency included John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth successfully. He served as a representative of Ohio in the Senate for close to 25 years. He was able to cap his senate career with another flight in the 1998 boarding STS-95 shuttle mission. Another long-term serving space explorer is Harrison Schmitt, who served in the Senate from New Mexico in 1978. Harrison walked on the moon on the Apollo 17 mission.
Jack Swigert got elected in 1982 to the House from Colorado and flew on Apollo 13 mission. However, Jack died of Cancer before he could take office. Two members of congress were not successful in their reelection bid. They include Kendra Horn, who lost to the Republican Candidate Stephanie Bice. Horn got to be elected in 2018 and was viewed as being among the most vulnerable Democratic Candidates. She served as chairperson, in charge of the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee, where she was able to introduce a bill that would change some aspects of Lunar Exploration Plans.