Final flight for Endeavour
We have liftoff: Giffords watches as Space Shuttle Endeavour has a perfectlaunch
The second time's the charm.
With Arizona congresswoman Gabrille Giffords and the families of other astronauts watching from a few hundred yards away at the Kennedy Space Center, the space shuttle Endeavour had a perfect liftoff Monday morning at 7:56 Houston time.
This was the 25th and final liftoff for Endeavour, and the second-to-last shuttle launch ever.
Giffords, who is undergoing rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann after suffering gunshot wounds on Jan. 8, stayed out of view. Her husband, Mark Kelly, is commanding the 16-day space mission.
Kelly took Giffords' wedding ring with him into space just as he has in previous missions. But this time, CNN reports that Kelly gave his wedding ring to Giffords before takeoff to keep until his return. The ring was too big for Giffords' finger, so she plans to wear it in a chain around her neck.
The space shuttle crew also wore wristbands emblazoned with the words "Love, Peace, Gaby" in Giffords' honor.
The launch was originally scheduled to take place April 29, but was scrubbed at the last minute due to a faulty switch box.