Obama And Family To Attend Launch Of Space Shuttle Endeavour

This marks the second time that the president has visited NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo Credit: Jason Rhian

CAPE CANAVERAL – President Obama will bring his wife Michelle and their daughters Malia and Sasha to attend the 25th and final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour on Apr. 29 at 3:47 p.m. He is expected to attend the launch with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who will be watching her husband, Commander Mark Kelly, take the orbiter up for one last mission to the International Space Station.

Giffords was severely injured during a shooting rampage last January that saw six people killed in an outdoor event entitled “Congress on Your corner.” Giffords, by all accounts, has made a remarkable recovery; however, her doctors have not given her the final go-ahead to attend the launch.

Obama last visited Kennedy Space Center a year ago to confirm his commitment to end the Constellation Program. At the time he mentioned a 2025 flight to an asteroid and that NASA could send astronauts to Mars, “within his lifetime.” The president did not visit any of NASA or the Air Force’s historic launch facilities (Launch Complex 39A is where men left for the moon and where the shuttle currently launches from) – instead the president visited launch Complex 40, operated by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

The last sitting president to attend a shuttle launch was Bill Clinton in 1998 for the flight of Discovery with former Mercury astronaut and Senator John Glenn.

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