Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Making Plans to Attend Astronaut Husband's Shuttle Launch

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' condition continues to improve after she was shot through the brain during the January 8 rampage in Tucson, and her staff says she's doing so well that they're moving forward with plans for her to go to Florida for her astronaut husband's upcoming shuttle launch.

In a statement, Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin says staffers are moving forward with plans for her to leave rehab at the TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and head to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida for the April 29, launch.

Her plans, Karamargin says, are pending doctors' approvals.

Karamargin says the congresswoman won't meet with the media while in Florida, nor will she be issue a statement. He says he and Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, probably will speak at a news conference following the launch to discuss her reaction to the Space Shuttle Endeavor's final mission.

News of Giffords' plans comes as several Arizona Democrats wait to see if she's able to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jon Kyl.

Before to the shooting, Giffords was said to be considering a run for Kyl's seat. Even after the shooting, Giffords still is considered to be the favored Democrat to run -- if she's able.

Other Democrats rumored to be eying the seat include Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Congressman Ed Pastor, and Arizona Board of Regents member Fred Duval.

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James King
Contact: James King