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Astronaut Mark Kelly has written a children's book

Mark Kelly, husband of former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will release his children's book about a mouse in space this fall.

By / February 21, 2012

Former astronaut Mark Kelly says his new children's book was inspired by real mice on board one of his spaceships.

Charles Dharapak/STF/AP

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Husband of former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Mark Kelly will release a children’s book this October titled “Mousetronaut: A Partially True Story.”

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Kelly, who worked as an astronaut but retired this fall, says the story will follow a mouse who is selected to participate in an outer space mission and that he was inspired by real mice on board one of his spaceships. On one voyage, 18 mice were brought onto one of his crafts for experiments.

“Seventeen of them, as soon as we got into zero gravity, stayed latched on to the side of the cage,” Kelly told the Associated Press. “But one of them seemed comfortable through the whole mission, like he was enjoying it.”

Kelly said he thinks the fact that so many children want to become astronauts means the book will appeal to young readers. He said he’s wanted to write the book for years, but that his job as an astronaut made it hard to find the time.

“With NASA as an employer, it becomes a little complicated,” he told the Associated Press. “Now that I'm retired, I can take time to do this.”

The book will be published through Simon & Schuster and illustrated by artist C.F. Payne.

Kelly previously collaborated with his wife on her memoir “Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope.”

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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