As most of you already know, on January 8, 2011, in an act of unspeakable savagery, a lone gunman critically injured congresswoman [Gabrielle Giffords.] Her husband Mark Kelly was set to command the final space shuttle flight [STS-134,] slated for April 1, 2010. It is currently unclear if Kelly will still command the mission. Thankfully, "Gabby" as her friends call her, survived the attack, but she's still in critical condition in a Tucson, AZ hospital. She suffered a point-blank 9mm gunshot wound to her head. The bullet entered the rear of her skull, passed through the entire left hemisphere of her brain, and exited the forehead.
It's a tragic blow to the NASA family, which has been stripped of its only remaining space fleet by budgetary concerns and a move towards the commercialization of future space flight.
Gabby was widely regarded by her peers and constituents as one of, if not the finest persons ever to have represented her district. It is said that she would listen for hours to people, until they were finished speaking. This is almost unheard of in politics today. Only days before she was gunned down, she introduced legislation to cut the pay of the U.S. Congress by 5%. What more do we need to say about this lady?
As the sun sets over the Arizona desert tonight, we all pray for the speedy and successful recovery of this family of American heroes.