Giffords plans to attend Endeavor launch

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) will watch her husband Mark Kelly take flight on the Space Shuttle Endeavor if her health allows, officials in her office said Thursday.

Giffords, who was shot Jan. 8 in the head in an assassination attempt, will try to attend the April 19 launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Fla., her office confirmed.

ADVERTISEMENT
"That's the plan, but anything could happen between now and then," said C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for Giffords.

Karamargin said if Giffords would attend if her recovery continues to be successful and if she were in good health.

The launch of Endeavor will be the second-to-last launch of a NASA space shuttle.

NASA is retiring three shuttles this year. One of them — Discovery — just returned Wednesday from its final flight.

Kelly was named the commander of Endeavor before the Tucson, Ariz., shooting, and there was speculation he might step down. He has remained at Giffords's side throughout her recovery process.

In early February, Kelly announced he would make the flight, saying he knew Giffords would support his decision.

"I know her very well, and she would be very comfortable with the decision that I made," Kelly said at the time.

Giffords was moved to a Houston rehab facility in late January to continue her recovery. The center specializes in traumatic brain injuries, and Kelly's NASA training is in Houston.