NewsChannel 15 one-on-one with Capt. Mark Kelly

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Captain Mark Kelly has faced several challenges in his life– from commanding a space shuttle’s final mission to helping his wife fight for her life. Captain Kelly was in Fort Wayne to talk about all those challenges.

Captain Kelly kicked off IPFW’s Omnibus Lecture Series at the Rhinehart Music Center. Cameras weren’t allowed inside, but Kelly sat down with us for a one-on-one interview ahead of his lecture Thursday night.

The takeaway during Kelly’s “Endeavour to Succeed” lecture was don’t be afraid of risks or challenges.

During it he talked about his time at sea and in the sky with the Navy, plus his time in space, and of course now on land as a current activist and news contributor. No matter where he is he runs into the same challenges.

“At least with some of it finding myself in circumstances of trying to do stuff that’s really hard,” Kelly said. “It may not be things that I’m like naturally inclined to be good at necessarily. We all find ourselves in circumstances and we have to kind of figure our way through.”

Kelly’s biggest challenge has been life after his wife former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords survived an attempted assassination in 2011. Giffords was shot in the head, and had a long road to recovery. Soon after Kelly had to go back into space.

“I was a commander of a space shuttle mission that was carrying the most expensive payload ever launched on a space shuttle just four months after my wife was assassinated,” Kelly said. “I had to figure out how do I do this. These are challenging missions under the best of circumstances.”

Since the 2011 shooting Kelly and Giffords have become outspoken on gun control.

“This is a problem our country has, and there are solutions to problems,” Kelly said.

Kelly said he’s a gun owner. He wants responsible gun ownership, but wants to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands.

“What we need to focus on is keeping these firearms out of the hands of criminals and domestic abusers, people who are dangerously mentally ill, even suspected terrorists,” Kelly said.

It was all on the table during his lecture in hopes everyone there will one day find their own endeavor.