A question on NASA's mind is whether the agency should let astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was wounded in the January shooting, command the upcoming flight of the space shuttle Endeavour.
NASA has scheduled a news conference at 2 p.m. CST Friday, Feb. 4, at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston, during which the announcement on the shuttle commander for the April flight is expected.
Mark Kelly, the commander STS-134 space shuttle mission, has been named as one of the participants of the briefing.
Before the assassination attempt on his wife in Tucson, Arizona, Kelly was named Endeavour's commander. However, following the shooting Kelly spent the days with his wife at the hospital and questions arose if he would be able to blast off leaving his recovering wife behind.
Giffords is currently undergoing intense rehab therapy in Texas. As per reports, she has limited movement on her right side. There are no clear indications if the Democrat rep. can speak yet.
The STS-134 shuttle mission is slated for launch on April 19. Quoting sources, several media reports have suggested that Kelly would fly on Endeavour's final voyage.