mark kelly gabrielle giffords Rep. Gabrielle Giffords OK to attend husband's shuttle launchKatie Couric sat down with Cmdr. Mark Kelly and his twin brother (and fellow astronaut) Scott to talk about the upcoming shuttle launch. The full interview will air Monday night (April 25) on the “CBS Evening News,” but the big news out of the interview is that Mark’s wife Gabrielle Giffords will be able to attend the shuttle launch (Mark and Gabby are pictured above in 2008).

Giffords is a Congresswoman targeted for assassination on Jan. 8, 2011 in a shooting that left six people dead and numerous people injured, including Giffords, who has had a long road to recovery after she was critically injured from a shot to the head.

Kelly tells Couric, “I’ve met with
her — her doctors, her neurosurgeon and her doctors. And they’ve given
us permission to take her down to the launch.”

When Couric asks what Gabby’s reaction was to the news, Kelly says, “I think she said ‘awesome’ and she pumped her fist one more time.”

Kelly also posits that the shuttle launch has been a motivating factor in Giffords’ rehab and recovery. He also tells Couric it will be a nice beak from her five hours of rehab every single day. He said it’s “both mentally and physically exhausting” for Giffords.

And they still have to be very careful with Giffords when she travels to the shuttle launch. Couric says, “She still is missing a piece of her skull, that people may not
realize. I believe it’s in a freezer, and they’re going
to put that back on, probably fairly soon. But, you know, her hair is
growing back, and she has short hair. She wears a helmet, I understand,
but doesn’t like to wear it all the time because it’s pretty hot and
uncomfortable. But I think that they were just making sure that she was
going to be OK, particularly in the travel to and from.”

You can follow along with Gabby’s recovery and rehabilitation on her official Facebook page and watch the full interview with Cmdr. Mark Kelly on Monday night’s “CBS Evening News.”

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."