Monday, April 25, 2011

Report: Giffords Will Attend Shuttle Launch

This just in from The Associated Press:

Doctors have given approval to a U.S. congresswoman recovering from being shot in the head to travel to Florida this week to see her astronaut husband's space shuttle launch, her husband says.

The trip will be the first for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since she was flown from Tucson, Arizona, to Houston more than three months ago to recover after she was shot in the head at a community event in her home state of Arizona.

Her husband, Mark Kelly, told CBS television that Giffords will witness the launch of Endeavour, which is scheduled for Friday afternoon in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Kelly is the commander of the mission.

"I've met with her doctors, her neurosurgeon and her doctors, and ... they've given us permission to take her down to the launch," Kelly said in the interview in Houston. The network statement did not specify when the interview occurred.

CBS released excerpts of the interview Sunday, and it was scheduled to air Monday evening.

President Barack Obama and the first family also are scheduled to watch the launch, although it's unclear if they will watch it with Giffords.

Families view launches at Kennedy Space Center from a restricted area, and there are no plans for Giffords to make a public appearance.

Giffords went to Kelly's last launch in 2008, when he commanded the space shuttle Discovery. The two married in 2007.

The shooting happened as Giffords, a Democrat, was holding a community outreach event in the parking lot of a Tucson shopping center. A gunman killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Giffords.

Jared Lee Loughner, 22, has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the attack and is in custody.

Giffords has not been seen publicly since the shooting and has spent the last three months relearning how to speak, walk and take care of herself. She has been singing — as part of musical therapy — asking for her favorite foods and visiting with family, friends, and her rabbi.

Kelly returned to training for the shuttle launch in February after taking time off to be at his wife's hospital bedside.

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