NASA to make announcement about space shuttle commander



- NASA may announce who will command the upcoming flight of the space shuttle Endeavour during a news conference Friday.

Who would command the April shuttle flight came under question after the January shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose husband is astronaut Mark Kelly.

Kelly was scheduled to be Endeavour's commander before his wife was shot at an event in Arizona.

Kelly spent the days after the shooting at his wife's hospital bedside, and NASA announced that it had named a backup shuttle commander for the Endeavour space mission.

At the time NASA said Kelly would remain commander of the STS-134 shuttle mission, which is set for an April 19 launch, but astronaut Rick Sturckow would serve as a backup commander "to facilitate continued training for the crew and support teams" while Kelly was away.

Kelly is scheduled to be at the news conference Friday afternoon, NASA said.