Office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords/AP
Stephan Lee
February 21, 2012 AT 03:16 PM EST

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is writing a children’s book about a mouse who ventures into space. Kelly previously collaborated with his wife on her memoir that spoke of Giffords’ incredible survival after suffering a gunshot to the head.

The inspiration for the story came from Kelly’s own experience: “On my first space shuttle flight, we had 18 mice on board as experiments,” he said in a press release. “And 17 of them, as soon as we got into zero gravity, stayed latched on to the side of the cage. But one of them seemed comfortable through the whole mission, like he was enjoying it.” Simon & Schuster will publish Kelly’s Mousestronaut: A Partially True Story in October of this year.

Read more:

Gabrielle Giffords and the healing power of music: A must-watch clip from last night’s ’20/20′

Gabrielle Giffords in her new memoir: ‘I will get stronger. I will return.’

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