Astronaut Mark Kelly, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Husband, Headed To Space

Astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is headed to space this April to be the commander of the final shuttle ride for Endeavour, has learned.

Giffords is the Arizona congresswoman shot in the head at close range by Jared Loughner in the January 8 shooting rampage Tucson that left six people dead.

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Kelly, 46, is expected to formally announce his mission Friday afternoon at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, the same city where Giffords, 40, is undergoing rehab for the injuries she suffered in the shooting.

Kelly, who’s been to space three times, had been debating as to whether or not to fly while his wife was recovering. NASA had lined up someone to fly in his place (backup commander Rick Sturckow).

PHOTOS: The 6 People Killed in Arizona Shooting

The six people left dead in the desert massacre were U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63; 9/11 baby Christina Taylor Green, 9; Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman, 30; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79. Fourteen others were injured.

PHOTOS: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords With Her Family

Endeavour is set to launch April 19.



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