Written by Monkey Woods
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Thursday, 20 January 2011

image for US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Recovery Exclusive
Giffords yesterday, with rebuilt face, and new protective congresswoman suit

The woman who "should be dead", Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, continues to recover, and is to be moved to a rehabilitation centre, according to her family.

Ms Giffords was shot over the left eye in a mass shooting in Arizona last week.

Barring medical complications, she will be moved to Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, where her husband, Mark Kelly, works for NASA as a spaceshuttle astronaut - how exciting!

"I am extremely hopeful at the signs of recovery that my wife has made since the shooting," said Kelly in a statement released by Ms Giffords's congressional office.

He said doctors at University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, where his wife has undergone a series of operations, had stabilised her to the point she could move into the rehabilitation phase of recovery.

But, anyway, let's hear more about being an astronaut!

An astronaut is a man who travels into space in a rocket, and hangs about 'in limbo' until something happens, which it doesn't often do. He wears a big white suit which protects him from space dust and carries a scientific-looking laser rifle that he uses to shoot aliens, should he encounter any. He also sports a big helmet, so that, if any nutcase decides to fire a gun at him, the bullets will bounce of the extremely thick visor, thereby leaving him unharmed.

Ms Gifford could have done to have been wearing one on the day she was shot.

Astronauts collect things from space, like dust, rock samples, small particles of small particles, more rock samples, plants, leaves, small insects and sometimes even wild animals that are constantly floating around in the never-ending void we call 'space'.

It's specialised work, and potential astronauts must be clever, dedicated, introverts who do not mix well with others, and who do not scare easily, because in space, no-one can hear you scream.

Food can be a problem, and any potential astronauts - or indeed, kosmonauts - who recoil from swallowing tablets, should take note. Toilet habits can also be disrupted; because they are often away from home for months at a time, astronauts must be able to suspend their bowel movements until they return safely to Earth, when they can take a crap in the comfort of their own homes.

The term astronaut comes from the Greek words 'ástron', meaning "star", and 'nautes', meaning "sailor". Russian people who can't pronounce the word 'astronaut', use the easier word 'kosmonaut'. This comes from the Russian word 'kosmos', meaning "space", and, of course, the same Greek word 'nautes'.

The first human being to step onto the surface of the Moon was Neil Armstrong, who had inadvertently hooked a tee shot there whilst playing golf near the Kennedy Space Center in 1969.

Ms Giffords's mother told friends the Democratic congresswoman has made remarkable progress since the 8 January attack at a constituency event outside a store in Tucson.

Gloria Giffords told friends in an e-mail that her daughter had scrolled through photographs on her husband's iPhone and had begun to look at "get well" cards and pages from a large-print book while in her hospital room, the New York Times reported. Wow!.

"It's good news for all of us and for all the people who have been praying for wisdom and strength for the surgeons and others who have been helping her," said Stephanie Aaron, Ms Giffords's rabbi.

Jared Loughner, 22, - described by friends as "spaced out" - has been jailed pending trial for the attack in Tucson, in which six were killed and 13 hurt. It is likely he will go to jail for this, and will almost certainly never get the chance to become an astronaut.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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