Retired Astronaut Talks Wallops Launch - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Retired Astronaut Talks Wallops Launch

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DOVER, Del.- Retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly was at Legislative Hall in Dover Wednesday, testifying on gun control. WBOC had the chance to speak with Kelly about the now-postponed Antares launch.

Ret. Capt. Kelly left NASA in 2011. As a veteran of four shuttle flights, he still keeps abreast of what is happening in missions to space.

Kelly was the pilot on Discovery's first mission after the space shuttle Columbia disaster. It was in the wake of the Columbia accident that NASA began shifting its focus, eventually ending the shuttle program and starting programs like the one involved in the Antares launch.
Kelly was optimistic about the mission.

"Space X has been very successful doing this to date," he said. "I think Orbital Sciences will be successful at it. It's a good first step for them. They need to demonstrate that capability."

He discussed what may be in store for NASA manned missions.

"When I was a kid I hoped to go to the planet Mars - be the first person to walk on Mars. Ain't going to happen - for me anyway. I think the United States will still lead in space and be the first to do that."

However, Kelly acknowledged there are issues closer to home with manned flights to tackle first.

"We still have to get people to the space station," he said. "We haven't solved that problem yet. We're on the road to doing that though."

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