Countdown begins for next-to-last shuttle launch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The countdown is under way for Friday's launch of the space shuttle Endeavour -- with Navy Capt. Mark Kelly in command.

Kelly and his crew flew to Kennedy Space Center this afternoon. And the shuttle commander says his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will be arriving there "pretty soon."

She's been undergoing rehabilitation in Houston for the gunshot wound she suffered in January in Tucson.

Her husband says she's been looking forward to attending the launch "for a long time" -- and that she's been "working really hard to make sure that her doctors would permit her to come."

Kelly says she's "more than medically ready" to make the trip.

President Barack Obama and his family also will attend the liftoff.

Endeavour is set to blast off Friday afternoon on its final voyage. It will be the next-to-last space shuttle mission.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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