NASA Picks Backup for Gifford's Husband

Shuttle commander Mark Kelly may miss April's Endeavour mission
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2011 2:38 PM CST
In this photo provided by the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Giffords, left, is shown with her husband, NASA astronaut Mark Kelly.   (AP Photo/Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords)

(Newser) – Mark Kelly has been temporarily replaced in his duties as an astronaut so he can stay with his wife—Gabrielle Giffords. Kelly has been at his wife's bedside since last weekend's shooting, but he's scheduled to command the shuttle Endeavour when it blasts off in April. The crew needs to keep training, so NASA picked Frederick Sturckow to replace Kelly for now, Spaceflight Now reports. It will decide later whether Kelly will sit out the mission. No commander has been replaced this close to liftoff.

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