Lawmaker Sees Off Spaceman Hubby

Arizona rep. married Discovery commander 6 months ago
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jun 1, 2008 5:07 PM CDT
In this handout picture from NASA on Saturday May 31, 2008, commander Mark Kelly is seen at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Saturday, May 31, 2008.    (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Arizona lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords waved goodbye as her husband went to work yesterday, in command of the Discovery shuttle. Giffords, who married astronaut Mark Kelly 6 months ago, admits she's nervous about the trip. "You don't really relax" until the shuttle comes home, she told Space.com. "At that point, you can sort of exhale and relax and know that your loved one's safe."

Lawmakers have gone to space before, and astronauts have won elections—but Giffords is the first legislator married to a space-bound traveler. A member of the House Science and Technology Committee, she has attended two other launches: her husband's in 2006, and his identical twin's last year. "I couldn't be prouder," she said. (Read more Discovery space shuttle stories.)