Shot US congresswoman Giffords' husband Kelly to lead last Endeavour shuttle mission

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Washington, Feb 5 (ANI): NASA has claimed that the husband of Gabrielle Giffords, the Democrat Representative who was injured in an Arizona gun attack, is scheduled to lead one of the final space shuttle missions in April this year.

Mark Kelly would reportedly resume training as Endeavour's commander on Monday.

The BBC quoted Kelly as saying that he made the decision because his wife's condition had improved "very fast."

Giffords is in a rehabilitation centre in Houston, where she is undergoing treatment after being shot in the head in January.

Though Kelly refused to give details about his wife's condition, he only said that she was recovering "much quicker than the doctors expected".

"I am looking forward to rejoining my STS-134 crew members and finishing our training for the mission. We have been preparing for more than 18 months... I appreciate the confidence that my Nasa management has in me and the rest of my space shuttle crew," Mark Kelly said in a statement.

The mission aboard the 20-year-old Endeavour is to deliver scientific research equipment and spare parts to the International Space Station, the report said.

Mark Kelly was reportedly training for the mission, which will be his fourth trip to space, when his wife was shot while holding a constituent meeting in Tucson in the state of Arizona. The attack had left six people were killed, and several others injured.

Peggy Whitson, chief of the astronaut office at Nasa's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said they were happy to have the veteran shuttle commander back to work.

"We are glad to have Mark back. He is a veteran shuttle commander and knows well the demands of the job. We are confident in his ability to successfully lead this mission," he added. (ANI)

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