The astronaut Mark Kelly says his wife is still recovering but "her personality's 100 percent there"
Credit: Landov

They had hoped for this, and now doctors have approved it: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a shooting in January, will attend this Friday’s launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor, which her husband Mark Kelly is commanding on its final mission.

“I’ve met with her doctors, her neurosurgeon and her doctors. And they’ve given us permission to take her down to the launch,” Kelly, 47, tells Katie Couric in an interview airing Monday on the CBS Evening News.

Kelly says he’s excited about having his wife there. Asked what her reaction was when she got the approval, he says: “I think she said, ‘Awesome,’ and she pumped her fist.”

Kelly also offers a general update on the health of Giffords, 40, the Arizona Democrat who has been battling back from a gun shot to the head, suffered in an assassination attempt in Tucson Jan. 8.

“Her personality’s a hundred percent there,” he says. “You know, it’s difficult for her to walk. The communication skills are difficult, at this point.”

“But she is still Gabby?” Couric asks.

“Yeah, absolutely,” says Kelly. “One hundred percent.”