Nightly News | February 04, 2011
>>> hard to believe it's been almost a month since those awful shootings in tucson, and for captain mark kelly , the husband of congresswoman gabby giffords , in the background of all of it he's been through, a decision whether to return to his job and return to space commanding the space shuttle in a mission that's scheduled for april. today he made up his mind, and nbc's tom costello has the story.
>> she's doing very, very well.
>> reporter: wearing a blue wrist band that reads peace, love and gabby, mark kelly said both her family and his were unanimous. it's time for him to return to space.
>> i know her very well, and she would be very comfortable with the decision that i made.
>> reporter: kelly declined to describe his conversations with giffords or her condition, saying only she spends eight hours a day in rehab. but with her recovery surprising even her doctors, kelly last week asked nasa for permission to rejoin his crew and prepare for their april mission. after some simulator and cockpit time this week, nasa agreed.
>> it is the best thing for our mission to have mark be the commander.
>> reporter: on the orbiting space station , mark's twin brother , scott kelly .
>> i think my brother is doing about as well as anyone could expect in this type of a situation.
>> reporter: for mark kelly , who spent 18 months training, this will be his fourth and final shuttle mission. in space he'll have e-mail, phone and perhaps even a video link with his wife and family as giffords' mother makes decisions about her care. today kelly responded to critics who say he should remain grounded with her.
>> they don't know her very well, so they don't know what she would want. she is a big supporter of my career, a big supporter of nasa . she really values the mission of nasa .
>> reporter: meanwhile in tucson today, volunteers began wrapping up and boxing the thousands of cards, flowers and tributes to the victims of last month's attack. as a city and a husband try to find some normalcy. tom costello, nbc news, washington.