Friday, February 4, 2011

Rep. Giffords Progressing Well Enough For Capt. Kelly To Command Final Shuttle Mission

Capt. Mark Kelly will be commanding the final space shuttle mission, it was announced this morning.  This is the third straight day that he has given firm - if not without detail - indications that his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-CD8), continues to improve after last month's assassination attempt and subsequent shooting spree in Tucson.

"I am looking forward to rejoining my STS-134 crew members and finishing our training for the mission," Kelly said. "We have been preparing for more than 18 months, and we will be ready to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station and complete the other objectives of the flight. I appreciate the confidence that my NASA management has in me and the rest of my space shuttle crew."

The news release from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) made it official, and Capt. Kelly will appear at a news conference at 1:00p.m. (Arizona Time) to discuss his - and NASA's - decision.  The news conference should be available live on NASA's website.

Kelly's Space Shuttle mission is targeted to begin on April 19, and last 14 days.  He will rejoin the team this coming Monday.

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