Photos taken during her recovery were released earlier in June on Facebook.
Monday night Giffords took part in a NASA awards ceremony in Houston. Giffords received a standing ovation in front of a crowd of hundreds, and reportedly stood up from her wheelchair to hug and kiss her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, after he received the Spaceflight Medal.
It was Giffords' first public appearance since January. The 41-year-old Democrat has been in the Houston area undergoing rehabilitation since several weeks after the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson that left her and 12 others wounded and six people dead.
The Associated Press contributed to this story