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Conversations with Astronaut Karen Nyberg
September 27, 2013


A new video series, "Conversations with Astronaut Karen Nyberg" features four short videos developed from Nyberg's preflight conversations with fellow NASA astronaut Cady Coleman. Coleman and Nyberg discuss a number of relatable topics from family life to personal hobbies and career choices. There are several sides to Nyberg, and these videos help you get to know her on a more personal level.
The fourth and final video was released Friday, Sept. 27 and shows Nyberg discussing her hobbies with Coleman. She is very artistic and loves to create different things through quilting, sewing and sketching. Nyberg took four “fat quarters” (pieces of fabric that are 18 by 22 inches) with her to the International Space Station along with needles, thread and a sketchbook when she launched to space on May 28. She plans to do some creating while living on the space station. In fact, she recently posted on her Pinterest account a stuffed dinosaur she made for her son in space. It is made from Velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers found on the station and is lightly stuffed with scraps from a used t-shirt. Nyberg is getting extra creative with her crafts onboard since there was limited space allotment to carry material to the station with her and there will also be limited space to bring her creations back to Earth.
Sewing and quilting have many technical components and are used in several different careers at NASA including sewing spacesuits, parachutes for the Orion spacecraft and the covering for Robonaut.


The video is accompanied by an interview with NASA astronaut Megan McArthur. McArthur is a good friend and astronaut classmate of Nyberg and talks about Nyberg’s hobbies on a personal level. She mentions creative gifts she has received from Nyberg, and how impressive her creative hobbies are.


Three other videos and interviews featuring Nyberg were previously released: one on career choices, one on running and one on family. The third video, released Sept. 19, features Nyberg talking about career choices. She discusses her motives for becoming a mechanical engineer despite the fact that she was one of the few females in her classes. Coleman asks, “So does that mean you are good at fixing things?” Nyberg answers that she can and goes on to say she hopes other girls realize they can also be the “fix-it person” but still enjoy girl things, like sewing and pretty dresses. Nyberg talks about being one of the few females in her classes as an undergraduate engineering student at the University of North Dakota. Now she is the only female living on the space station.
The space station is nearly fifteen years old, and just like a house, things need repairing. As one of six people currently living on the station, Nyberg uses her engineering background to help with repairs.
The second video, released Sept. 13, discusses Nyberg’s love for running. She says she has been running for many years and uses it as her time to think. She also explains that she thinks anyone can run and talks about the feeling of completing a marathon.
Nyberg is an avid runner and has completed nine marathons. On the space station, the astronauts exercise about two hours per day. They have a specially designed treadmill that uses a harness to hold the astronaut in place. Exercise on station helps to limit changes to the body while living in microgravity.
For the release of the video, NASA astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger was interviewed on Space Station Live. Metcalf-Lindenburger is also a runner and has run with Nyberg on several occasion in relays in the United States and also in Moscow. She says she enjoys running because, “It is really a sport you can take anywhere, even into space.”
The first video, released Sept. 5, focuses on family and how Nyberg planned to stay connected to her husband and fellow astronaut Doug Hurley, and their young son while she lives on the space station.
Astronauts must be away from their family, and off the planet, for months at a time. Unlike many others around the world, the space station astronauts have phone capabilities and weekly videoconferences to talk to their family. Nyberg said she hoped to be able to share videos from space with her son to help stay connected.
Also on video, Hurley shared his thoughts on fatherhood while his wife is living in space. He also talks about how he and Nyberg met and how they manage a family while they are both away often for missions and training.
View the complete “Conversations with Astronaut Karen Nyberg on…” series on this YouTube play list site:
Conversations with Astronaut Karen Nyberg on....

Nyberg shares her interests and perspectives in these interviews, but she is also sharing her experiences on the space station with the world through social media.

› Follow Nyberg on Facebook
› Follow Nyberg on Twitter
› Follow Nyberg on Pinterest

› The Softer Side of Space: A Profile of Astronaut Karen Nyberg

› Preflight Interview: Karen Nyberg

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Stuffed dinosaur toy
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 37 flight engineer, made this stuffed dinosaur toy aboard the International Space Station, using scraps of food-packaging liners and a T-shirt.
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Page Last Updated: September 30th, 2013
Page Editor: Jason Roberts