America's two feel good stories come together as both Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the space shuttle Endeavour came together for a inspirational launch day at the Kennedy Space Center. As the Endeavour triumphantly soared into the clouds above, congresswoman Giffords watched from her wheelchair, smiled and exclaimed Good stuff, good stuff.
It was hard to imagine that Gifford would be alive today to see her husband and shuttle commander Mark Kelly blast off on Endeavour's last launch. Just five months ago, an assassination attempt in Tuscon killed 6 people and left Gifford with a bullet in her head. In a miraculous story of survival that garnered the world's attention, the Arizona congresswoman overcame all odds and recovered from her coma. She joined over 350,000 spectators in witnessing history when the Endeavour took off minutes before 9am.
There were congratulations all around but for Gifford it was feeling proud and relieved seeing her husband's safe launch. Kelly, who typically takes his wedding ring into space, left it behind this time based on Gifford's request. She is holding onto it around her silver chain necklace.
The Endeavour's voyage will take 16 days and it is Space Kennedy's second to last mission.