— TON - U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who suffered a head wound in a mass shooting two months ago, will attend the launch of her husband's space shuttle in April, a person with direct knowledge of the decision said Thursday.
The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the family and doctors have not yet publicized the decision. A news conference was scheduled for Friday at the Houston hospital where Giffords is undergoing rehabilitation.
Her husband Mark Kelly is commander of the space shuttle Endeavour's final mission, due for launch on April 19. Endeavour is to deliver a $1.5 billion physics experiment called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. Kelly's flight will be the second-last scheduled mission of the 30-year space shuttle program. The final flight, involving the shuttle Atlantis, has been set for late June.
Giffords was shot in the head Jan. 8 at a political event. Six people died in the attack, and Giffords has been slowly recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Representatives for Giffords and her family have said previously that she hoped to attend the launch, but Thursday's comment suggested that the schedule was more definite.
Giffords is expected to return to Houston after the launch and resume her treatment.