Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, has decided to fly on the Space Shuttle, Endeavour. Giffords condition has improved significantly as a result of her fast recovery. Kelly said, “I know her very well and she would be very comfortable with the decision that I made.” However, he wouldn’t go into further detail about her condition. Kelly is expecting his wife to be at his launch in April, which will be his fourth, and the Endeavour’s last flight.
Mark Kelly lives in Houston with his two daughters, Claudia and Claire, from a previous marriage. Kelly also works close to home at the Johnson Space Center. Giffords was transferred to Houston from Arizona two weeks after the shooting so she could be close to home and her family. Kelly stayed at his wife’s bedside the whole time she was in intensive care in Arizona. Initially, he was expected to step down as commander of Endeavour, with NASA naming Rick Sturckow as backup commander. Kelly said he wanted his wife’s input before he made his decision. “I obviously weigh time that I can spend with her, with what I think is in the best interest of NASA and my crew. So that’s a debate I had with myself,” Kelly said. People who know the family give him support and respect his decision. Kelly would not leave if his wife’s condition wasn’t improving so fast. He has begun training for the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s two-week mission. The final Space Shuttle mission takes off at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on April 29, 2011.
Tags: astronaut, Cape Canaveral, Gabrielle Giffords, Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, Mark Kelly, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Space Center Houston, Space Shuttle Endeavour