Commander Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, announces he will lead next mission to the ISS.
The April Space Shuttle mission is a "go" for Commander Mark Kelly.
The astronaut husband of wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced Friday he will command the upcoming April shuttle mission.
"I feel confident I made right decision, not only for me, my crew, nasa but and for my wife," Kelly said when making the announcement.
Kelly had long been scheduled to command Endeavour's final flight, but the Tucson shooting that left Congresswoman Giffords near death last month put his role in doubt.
Kelly has been at his wife's side throughout her recovery, but his decision to leave for a two week mission came down to basics.
"I know her very well and she would be very comfortable with the decision that I made," he said.
Giffords' recovery continues at a rehabilitation center in Houston, where Kelly will resume his training.
Had kelly stepped down from the mission, NASA was ready with a backup commander.
The veteran astronaut's decision became less agonizing as Giffords' condition has continued to improve.
"Things fell into pace and she improved very fast, and decision became easier," he said.
The next mission is an important one.
It's Endeavour's final flight, and the second to last shuttle mission before the fleet is retired after more than 30 years of service.
Endeavour is scheduled to launch on April 19th for the International Space Station, where Kelly's twin brother Scott is currently on board.