Space Shuttle Endeavour blasts off as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords watches.
Space Shuttle Endeavour cut through the clear blue Florida sky, racing toward the International Space Station this morning and a rendezvous with history.
The initial indication is that it was a picture perfect launch, the 25th and final mission for Endeavour.
Less than four months after being shot at point blank range Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the wife of Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly, made the trip from her hospital in Houston to be a part of the launch.
Giffords will now return to Houston to continue her rehabilitation and therapy as her husband and the crew begin their 16-day mission, which includes delivering a $2-billion cosmic ray detector and a collection of spare parts for the International Space Station to help keep the outpost up and running through at least 2020.