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Space Shuttle Launch or the Royal Wedding: 2 Sweet Love Stories

gabrielle giffords and mark kelly, william and kate

The other love story we'll be watching on Friday.

Two big media events, two love stories. Which you watch with the kids tomorrow might say a lot about you. I’m not here to judge, though, just to list the options.

Love story No. 1 is the one some are already calling the wedding of the century (90 more years to go, people. We should probably let someone make the call in 2092.). Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot at Westminster Abbey before throngs of friends, family, royal subjects and gawking vacationers hoping to catch a glimpse.

Love story No. 2? Less pomp but a lot of love and romance there, too.

Tomorrow’s second-to-last launch of a space shuttle is a love story with a decidedly un-royal and tragically painful overtones. Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from a gunshot to her head in a mass shooting just a few months ago, will make the long trip to Florida to watch her husband Mark Kelly, commander of the mission, lead the shuttle crew into space.

Giffords has made astounding progress in not just surviving, but also in terms of healing and rehabilitation. Traveling to Florida to witness the launch is her first release from the hospital since she was moved there for recovery.

The love story at the center of tomorrow’s shuttle launch is about more than just one woman’s strength and her husband’s relentless bedside support. We’d be watching the pair even if the shootings in Arizona hadn’t happened. Here’s what former Labor Secretary Robert Reich said while officiating their 2007 wedding.

“To a bride who moves at a velocity that exceeds that of anyone else in Washington, and a groom who moves at a velocity that exceeds 17,000 miles per hour.”

Pretty sure that’s not going to be said early tomorrow morning.

Anyway, Endeavour is slated for blast-off at 3:47 p.m. EST.

There is nothing preventing you from watching both. Kate Middleton is expected to arrive at Westminster Abbey around 11 a.m. GMT. Though news outlets are promising 24/7 coverage, folks on the East Coast should set their alarms for around 4 a.m. (West Coast, you might want to just not go to bed).

All the big stuff — the dress reveal, the long slow march down the aisle, the ceremony, kiss and tears will be done in enough time for you to transition from celebrity-watching romantic to closet space nerd.

Additionally, weather forecasts now have shuttle launch officials saying there’s a 30 percent chance for a launch delay — there may even be a chance for a nap.

Which will you watch?

Photo: wikipedia.org

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