Astronaut Mark Kelly was in Port Arthur Tuesday as part of the Fall 2012 Distinguished Lecture Series at Lamar State College Port Arthur.

Kelly greeted administrators and signed autographs just a couple of hours before taking the stage.

Kelly is a retired US Navy Captain and was at the center of international attention after an assassination attempt on his wife -- Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford's.

Video cameras were not allowed inside during the lecture but Kelly sat down for an interview exclusively with 12 News.

He told reporter Agustin Garfias all four of his flights into space were as memorable as the last but his greatest achievement was seeing his wife survive.

"In Gabby's case, it's largely because who she was. She was a member of congress doing her job and just meeting with her constituents. It's been a long road over the past 21 months," Kelly said.

Kelly also commented on Felix Baumgartners jump from space, saying Baumgartner has a lot a nerve and is very brave.

Although Lamar State College Port Arthur identified Kelly as an American Hero, he told 12 News HD that he's just a guy that did his job for 25 years as well as possible.

Kelly spends his time as a public speaker now and just had a children's book hit store shelves. It's called Mousetronaut.

He says the book is partially true, based on his first trip to space when he took mice with him.