She’s taken a couple cross-country flights in the past few months and her husband recently rocketed into space.

But the 30-mile trip U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made this afternoon may have been her most satisfying yet.

After five months in the hospital following a gunshot wound to the head Jan. 8, Giffords was discharged from TIRR Memorial Hermann today and will soon begin outpatient treatment there.

"The Congresswoman is elated," said CJ Karamargin, her spokesman. "This is a major step in her recovery and she’s feeling very good about it."

Doctors say Giffords’ cognitive abilities and physical strength have improved to the point where she no longer needs hospital care. At her husband’s house in League City, Texas, she will be assisted by a 24-hour home health provider and will return to the hospital regularly to continue her intensive therapy program.

“Congresswoman Giffords has shown clear, continuous improvement from the moment she arrived at TIRR five months ago,” Dr. Gerard Francisco, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in a prepared statement. “We are very excited that she has reached the next phase of her rehabilitation and can begin outpatient treatment. We have no doubt that she will continue to make significant strides in her recovery.”

Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, said the change of scenery will be a good one for his wife.

“Anyone who knows Gabby knows that she loves being outside,” Kelly said in a prepared statement. “Living and working in a rehab facility for five months straight has been especially challenging for her. She will still go to TIRR each day but from now on, when she finishes rehab, she will be with her family.”