News / USA

Astronaut Kelly: 'Pretty Good Chance' Giffords Can Attend Shuttle Launch

NASA astronaut and space shuttle Endeavour Commander Mark Kelly speaks during a crew news conference in Houston, March 24, 2011
NASA astronaut and space shuttle Endeavour Commander Mark Kelly speaks during a crew news conference in Houston, March 24, 2011

NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, commander of the upcoming space shuttle mission, said he thinks there is a "pretty good chance" that his wife, congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will be able to attend next month's launch of the shuttle Endeavour. Giffords was critically wounded when a shooter went on a rampage and killed six people in Arizona on January 8.  

Kelly says his wife is doing "remarkably well" 10 weeks after she was shot in the head while meeting with constituents in Arizona.    

"She is improving every day, and in the realm of brain injuries, that is very significant and pretty rare," said Kelly. "She is starting to walk, talk more - more every day - and she is starting to process some of the tragedy that we all went through in January.  She is going through that as we speak."     

In late January, Giffords was moved from a hospital in Tucson, Arizona, to a rehabilitation center in Houston, Texas, where Kelly trains at the Johnson Space Center.  Kelly said he sees Giffords at the start and end of each work day.  

He said Giffords remains in a good mood, despite the emotional and physical toll, and spends most of her days in therapy.  He said she enjoys brief visits with friends, colleagues and staffers who keep her up-to-date on the happenings in Washington and her congressional district.  

Astronaut Kelly said he wants Giffords to attend next month's launch and she feels the same.

"And I think there's a pretty good chance that's going to happen," he said. "We still don't know for sure, and I'm just awaiting, you know, final approval from her doctors."

Kelly made the comments Thursday during a news conference at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

In the weeks after the shooting, it was unclear if Kelly would still take part in the mission, but Kelly resumed training as commander after taking one month of personal leave to care for his wife.  

Kelly called it a "bittersweet privilege" to command Endeavour on its final mission.  Endeavour is set to launch April 19.  During the 14-day mission, Endeavour will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts to the International Space Station.  

Kelly's twin brother, Scott, who is also an astronaut, returned from space last week.  Mark Kelly said Scott visited Giffords upon his return, which made her "really happy."  

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More