CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Saying that he knows his wife’s mind well, astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, announced Friday that he’s resuming his training to command the final flight of space shuttle Endeavour, scheduled to launch April 19.

Although he would not be drawn out on whether Giffords — who was shot in the head by a lone gunman at a Tucson, Ariz., shopping center on Jan. 8 — explicitly gave her blessing for him to fly to space for the fourth time, Kelly said he knew that was clearly her wish.

“I know (my wife) very well, and she would be very comfortable with the decision that I made,” he told a news conference in Houston that was broadcast on NASA TV. He added that he hoped Giffords would be at Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch.

“I have every intention that she’ll be there for launch. I’ve talked to her doctors about that,” he said.

Giffords, a Democrat, chaired the House subcommittee that oversees NASA until Republicans took control of the House last month. She is a strong supporter of human spaceflight and married Kelly in 2007, not long after she was elected to Congress.

Kelly was named more than a year ago as the commander of the Endeavour flight, but he took a leave from training after Giffords was shot. He spent weeks at her bedside while she was in an intensive care unit in Tucson.

Kelly said he initially expected to step down as flight commander. Last month, NASA named a backup, Rick Sturckow, who joined the crew for training while Kelly looked after his wife. But Giffords has made dramatic progress and is currently undergoing rehabilitation for her head injuries in Houston.

Though doctors described her progress as remarkable, they have said very little about her condition, including whether she’s able to speak.

Despite repeated questions from reporters, Kelly wouldn’t go into details about how or if she was communicating with him.

But Kelly said one of the reasons he decided to return to space training was because his wife was improving so dramatically, adding that she was going to be “very busy” with speech, occupational and physical therapy over the next months.

Kelly’s two-week mission to the International Space Station will be the last scheduled launch of Endeavour — and possibly the last shuttle flight before the program is retired. NASA is planning for one more launch in June, but Congress has not yet provided the money for it.