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Report: Giffords stands, hugs husband at NASA event

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords reportedly stood up from her wheelchair to hug and kiss her astronaut husband Mark Kelly at a NASA awards ceremony on Monday.
/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords reportedly stood up from her wheelchair to hug and kiss her astronaut husband Mark Kelly in front of a crowd of hundreds at a NASA awards ceremony on Monday.

Giffords smiled and waved to the crowd as she received a standing ovation, according to ABC News.

Kelly received a Spaceflight Medal during the ceremony in Houston .

Giffords and Kelly held hands for most of the event, according to the report. The 41-year-old congresswoman also appeared to talk with people sitting around her.

Giffords 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.

'Getting out more and more'C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for Giffords, told NBC News that the Democrat had been showing continuous improvement in her condition.

In addition to traveling to Florida twice — for the scrubbed shuttle launch and the actual launch — she returned to her home in Tucson over Father's Day weekend.

Karamargin .

"The congresswoman was just in Tucson … for a Father's Day visit," he said. "She met with the staff there and she climbed a flight of 18 stairs. I think it's no surprise the congresswoman is getting out more and more … She's showing greater physical strength, greater cognitive abilities and greater verbal skills, so it’s not a surprise."

An earlier version of this story said the event would air on NASA TV on Thursday. However, this is a different awards event, which is due to be held at NASA headquarters in Washington.