Giffords' Astronaut Husband Headed for Space - NBC New York

Giffords' Astronaut Husband Headed for Space

West Orange NJ native has been keeping vigil at wife's bedside



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    HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 5: (FILE PHOTO) In this handout image provided by NASA, astronaut Mark E. Kelly poses for a photo January 5, 2005 in Houston, Texas. Mark E. Kelly's wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head at a public event entitled 'Congress on your Corner' when a gunman opened fire outside a Safeway grocery store January 8, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. It was reported that eighteen people were shot, including members of Giffords' staff, and six were killed, including one young child. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

    The  astronaut married to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has made his choice. Mark Kelly, the West Orange, NJ native, is headed to space in April.
    An official close to the space shuttle program confirmed Friday morning that astronaut Kelly will be aboard Endeavour for its final flight. The official did not want to be named because the
     information has not yet been made public. Kelly will hold a news conference at Johnson Space Center in Houston on Friday afternoon.

     Kelly took a leave from training after Giffords was gunned down at a Tucson, Ariz., shopping center on Jan. 8. She's undergoing rehab in Houston.      

    Kelly spent the past month debating whether to step down as commander of Endeavour's two-week mission. Liftoff is targeted for April 19.