Having survived January's shooting in Tucson US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, along with President Barack Obama, will attend the Endeavour shuttle's final launch in Florida on Friday. Doctors have given Giffords the go ahead to be present to see her husband, the commander of the shuttle launch tomorrow.
When Giffords was told by her doctors that she would be able to attend she responded with "Awesome".
This will be Giffords' first public appearance since she miraculously survived a bullet through the brain. She was one of the victims of the Tucson shootings, carried out by Jared Loughner. His killing spree left six people dead including Giffords' aide, Gabe Zimmerman, federal judge John Roll, and nine-year-old Christina Green.
Doctors were forced to remove a large chunk of Giffords' skull in order to relieve swelling. She will return to her rehabilitation facility in Houston after the launch. The Congresswoman is taking part in hours of speech therapy as she was shot through the left side of the brain, which controls language.
Although her recovery will be slow one, on Wednesday she was well enough to slowly climb the steps to her jet bound for Cape Canaveral, according the Guardian reports.
When Gifford was shot Kelly pulled out of training to be at his wife's bedside. However when she improved he returned to preparing for the mission.
Speaking to reporters at the Kennedy Space Station he said "She's been working really hard to make sure that her doctors would permit her to come, and she's more than medically ready to be here and she's excited about making this trip."
This, the final mission for the Endeavour, will be Mark Kelly's fourth flight on the space shuttle. The US Navy captain and Desert Storm veteran will lead the six-member crew on a two-week mission.
Their mission is to deliver a seven-tonne instrument, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, to the International Space Center. This equipment analyses cosmic rays with the hope that they can shed light on the nature of dark matter. The machine told 15 years to build and cost $2 billion. It will also hunt heavenly bodies. They will also bring spare parts to the astronauts on board the space station.
Having President Obama attend the final launch of the Endeavour is also a historic event. This is only the second time that a serving US president has attended a shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral.
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