Commander of the space shuttle, Endeavor, Mark Kelly “spoke” during a space to ground teleconference in Houston with his wife, Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
The Endeavour and its six-man crew are due to land next Wednesday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The wounded Congresswoman attended her husband’s launch, but it isn’t likely that she will be able to attend the landing. This conference poignantly marked the last time the couple could speak before Kelly’s return to Houston.
Giffords was able to attend the teleconference from the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Center in Houston, where she is still in treatment for the near fatal gunshot wound she received in a January attack that killed six and wounded 13 others. Although the two had been in contact every day via satellite phone, Kelly had not been able to see his wife since the launch on Monday, May 16, and since her skull was reconstructed.
In order to relieve the swelling in her skull right after she was shot, doctors removed a piece of bone. Last week a plastic implant permanently closed it up. At the time of the video contact, her head was still wrapped in bandages, but her husband was anxious to see her nevertheless.
Currently his expedition on the Endeavor is more than halfway completed and the final step in the mission is to deliver a $2 billion particle detector to the space station.
For the couple so devoted to each other and so devastated by her near fatal injury, love blooms eternal and both are optimistic that all will be well upon his return to earth.
Check out the video below covering this touching teleconference.