Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Cleared To Attend Husband's Shuttle Launch : It's All Politics Good news came Monday with the report that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is still rehabilitating in Houston from a gunshot wound, got medical clearance to attend her husband's shuttle launch Friday at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The launch is scheduled for the same time as the British royal wedding.
NPR logo Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Cleared To Attend Husband's Shuttle Launch

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Cleared To Attend Husband's Shuttle Launch

March, 2010 file photo of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). AP hide caption

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March, 2010 file photo of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).

AP

Good news is always a welcome way to start off a new week following a holiday break.

And so it was excellent to learn Monday morning that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) has made so much progress in her rehabilitation from her gunshot wound that she has been medically cleared to attend Friday's scheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor commanded by her husband Mark Kelly.

The Associated Press reports:

Doctors at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston say
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords can fly to Florida this week to watch her
astronaut husband rocket into space as commander of the space
shuttle Endeavour.

Dr. Gerard Francisco says she is "medically able" to attend
the event but will return to Houston "shortly after the launch"
to continue rehabilitation.

The launch was always likely to attract much media attention, as it's the last scheduled launch of a shuttle orbiter in the highest-profile, decades-long part of the nation's space program.

But Giffords' attendance adds a powerful new dramatic element to the launch, the kind of event that normally has a great deal of drama in its own right.

It sure will make for a huge news day, with the planned launch occurring towards the end of Britain's royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton which will be a different sort of launch.

It sure creates a challenge for the network anchors trying to cover to huge live events simultaneously.