Sweet Goodbye: Mark Kelly Launches in Space Shuttle as Gabrielle Giffords Watches

Share
Copy

Space Shuttle Endeavour

The shooting, and the public attention that followed, brought astronaut Kelly a measure of fame that few modern astronauts have experienced, and which he never sought. He said he thought the focus should be on the mission, the upcoming end of the space shuttle program, and the $2 billion Alpha-Magnetic Spectrometer Endeavour is carrying to the space station to explore the makeup of the universe.

Kelly does have five crewmates. His co-pilot is Gregory H. Johnson. There are three spacewalkers, Greg Chamitoff, Drew Feustel and Mike Fincke. The shuttle's robot arm is to be operated by Roberto Vittori, an Italian astronaut who works for the European Space Agency. They are scheduled to dock with the International Space Station on Wednesday, and come home before dawn on June 1.

"It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore," said Kelly by radio to mission control before launch. "We must not stop. To all the millions watching today including our spouses, children, family and friends, we thank you for your support."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
Lisa Kudrow
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library | Getty Images
PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.
Courtesy 1715 Fleet - Queens Jewels, LLC
PHOTO: Motorists were startled when an axe from a dump truck in front of them flew at their windshield.
Massachusetts State Police/Facebook