Astronaut Biography: Scott J. Kelly
NASA astronaut Scott J. Kelly, a U.S. Navy commander, poses for a portrait in his ascent/entry spacesuit.
Credit: NASA.

NAME: Scott J. Kelly (Commander, U.S. Navy)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born February 21, 1964 in Orange, New Jersey. Married to the former Leslie S. Yandell of Atlanta, Georgia. They have two children. His parents, Richard and Patricia Kelly, reside in Flagler Beach, Florida.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Mountain High School, West Orange, New Jersey, in 1982; received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College in 1987, and a master of science degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1996.

ORGANIZATIONS: Associate Fellow, Society of Experimental Test Pilots and Member, The Association of Space Explorers.

AWARDS: Defense Superior Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, 2 Navy Unit Commendations, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Korolev Diploma from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, 1999.

EXPERIENCE: Kelly received his commission from the State University of New York Maritime College in May 1987, and was designated a naval aviator in July 1989 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Beeville, Texas.

He then reported to Fighter Squadron 101 at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, for initial F-14 Tomcat training. Upon completion of this training, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 143 and made overseas deployments to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Persian Gulf aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). Kelly was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in January 1993 and completed training in June 1994.

After graduation, he worked as a test pilot at the Strike Aircraft Test Squadron, Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, flying the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet. Kelly was the first pilot to fly an F-14 with an experimental digital flight control system installed and performed subsequent high angle of attack and departure testing.

Kelly has logged over 3,700 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft and has over 250 carrier landings.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in April 1996, Kelly reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996.

Following completion of training, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems/Operations Branch. He served as space shuttle pilot on STS-103 in 1999 and has logged over 191 hours in space. Following STS-103, Kelly served as NASA?s Director of Operations in Star City, Russia.

He served as a back-up crewmember for ISS Expedition 5 and more recently, as the Astronaut Office Space Station Branch Chief. Scott Kelly is currently assigned and training as the commander of STS-118, an assembly mission to the International Space Station scheduled to launch on August 7, 2007.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-103 (December 19-27, 1999) was an eight-day mission during which the crew successfully installed new instruments and upgraded systems on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Enhancing HST scientific capabilities required three space walks. The STS-103 mission was accomplished in 120 Earth orbits, traveling 3.2 million miles in 191 hours and 11 minutes.

Last Updated: July 2007

  • IMAGES: STS-103 Hubble Repair Mission
  • NASA's STS-118: Teaching the Future Through ISS Assembly
  • SPACE.com VIDEO Interplayer: Space Station Construction with STS-117
  • Complete Space Shuttle Mission Coverage