Mark Kelly And His Twin Brother Scott Will Hold Virtual Story Time for Kids

Scott and Mark Kelly standing next to each other wearing spacesuits

By Jessica Swarner

April 1, 2020

The pair of astronauts will read a children’s book based on their time in space. 

U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly of Arizona is joining his twin brother Wednesday on Instagram to read children a story while they’re stuck home from school due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At 5 p.m., the former astronauts and Navy pilots will either read Mousetronaut, a book Mark Kelly wrote about a mouse going to space, or My Journey to the Stars, Scott Kelly’s memoir for kids. People can vote for which book they’d like to hear on the brothers’ Twitter and Facebook pages. 

“Mark has read his children’s book at schools and libraries in Arizona often, but with the coronavirus forcing schools to close, this will be the first time he has done it on Instagram live,” Maria Claudia Hurtado, a spokeswoman for the Senate candidate’s campaign, told The Copper Courier. “Mark raised two daughters and understands that parents and kids are finding themselves in an unfamiliar situation that’s not easy.”

Hurtado said Mark Kelly has encouraged Arizonans, and all Americans, to follow public health guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Mark spent time in quarantine before his space flights and made four trips to space, so has some experience with isolation,” Hurtado said. “He encourages folks to get into a good routine, and remember to do things for themselves like exercising and staying connected with friends and family virtually.”

Mark Kelly spent more than 50 days in space from his selection as an astronaut in 1996 to his retirement in 2011.

Scott Kelly was chosen to be an astronaut in the same class as his brother. He also logged four spaceflights, including a yearlong mission on the International Space Station. He retired in 2016. 

This isn’t an astronauts’ first foray into virtual story time.

Last week, Scott Kelly read A Journey to the Stars on his Instagram page as part of the Read Together, Be Together literacy campaign. 

The campaign features live children’s story readings each weekday at noon on various Instagram and Facebook accounts. A schedule is available here.

Other accounts offering regular live story times are Penguin Kids (each weekday at 8 a.m.) and Brightly (each weekday at 11 a.m.).   


  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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