Karen L. Nyberg

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Karen L. Nyberg
Karen nyberg v2.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Active
Born (1969-10-07) October 7, 1969 (age 44)
Parkers Prairie, Minnesota
Other occupation
Mechanical Engineer
Time in space
180 days
Selection 2000 NASA Group
Missions STS-124, Expedition 36/37 (Soyuz TMA-09M)
Mission insignia
STS-124 patch.svg Soyuz-TMA-09M-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 36 Patch.png

Karen LuJean Nyberg (born October 7, 1969) is an American mechanical engineer and NASA astronaut. Nyberg became the 50th woman in space on her first mission in 2008.

Nyberg started her space career in 1991 and spent a total of 180 days in space in 2008 and 2013 (as a Mission Specialist on STS-124 and a Flight Engineer on Soyuz TMA-09M).

Personal[edit]

Nyberg's hometown is Vining, Minnesota. She is married to astronaut Douglas Hurley. They have a son. Her recreational interests include running, sewing, drawing and painting, backpacking, piano, and spending time with her family. Her parents, Kenneth & Phyllis Nyberg, still reside in Vining.[1]

Nyberg and Hurley are in a Shared earning/shared parenting marriage.[2]

Karen Nyberg smiles for a photo as she is affected by weightlessness on the middeck of the Discovery while docked with the ISS.

Education[edit]

Nyberg graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of North Dakota in 1994. She continued her studies at the University of Texas at Austin, centered on human thermoregulation and experimental metabolic testing and control, and focusing on the control of thermal neutrality in space suits. This work at the Austin BioHeat Transfer Laboratory led to her doctorate in 1998.[1][3]

NASA career[edit]

She worked at Johnson Space Center from 1991 to 1995 and received a patent for work she completed in 1991 on Robot Friendly Probe and Socket Assembly. In 1998, on completing her doctorate, she accepted a position with the Crew and Thermal Systems Division, working as an Environmental Control Systems Engineer to improve space suit thermal control systems and evaluate firefighter suit cooling technologies. She provided conceptual designs of the thermal control system for the Advanced Mars and Lunar Lander Mission studies, and environmental control system analysis for a collapsible hyperbaric chamber.[1][3]

She was selected as an Astronaut Candidate by NASA in July 2000. After two years of training and evaluation she qualified as a Mission Specialist and was assigned for technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch. She was Crew Support Astronaut for the Expedition 6 crew during their six-month mission on the ISS. In July 2006, Nyberg took part in NEEMO 10, a deep-sea training and simulation exercise at the Aquarius underwater laboratory to help NASA prepare for the return of astronauts to the moon and manned missions to Mars. Nyberg and her crewmates lived and worked underwater for seven days.[4][5]

Nyberg was in the crew of STS-124, which flew to the ISS in May 2008. This was the second of three flights to deliver components to complete the Japanese Kibō laboratory.[1] In May 2009, she was assigned to the STS-132 mission, which launched in May 2010,[6] but had to be replaced three months later due to a temporary medical condition.[7] Nyberg then served in a technical role until she received her next assignment, as a flight engineer on the Expedition 36/37.

She recently served as a flight engineer on Expedition 36 and Expedition 37 on the ISS, having launched on Soyuz TMA-09M. While in orbit, Nyberg was one of only two women in space on the 50th anniversary on June 16, 2013 of Vostok 6, the first spaceshot by a woman, Valentina Tereshkova, the other being Wang Yaping aboard the Tiangong-1 on the Shenzhou 10 mission.[8]

Awards and honors[edit]

She has won a host of awards including the UND Young Alumni Achievement Award (2004); Space Act Award (1993); NASA JSC Patent Application Award (1993); NASA Tech Briefs Award (1993); NASA JSC Cooperative Education Special Achievement Award (1994); Joyce Medalen Society of Women Engineers Award (1993–94); D.J. Robertson Award of Academic Achievement (1992) and University of North Dakota School of Engineering & Mines Meritorious Service Award (1991–1992).[1]

See also[edit]

List of married couples among space travelers

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Astronaut Bio: Karen L. Nyberg". April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 
  2. ^ Berger, Eric (November 18, 2013). "NASA family out of this world: Astronaut parents disprove that the sky's the limit when it comes to raising their son at home". Houston Space Chronicle. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Karen Nyberg". 2007-03-26. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 
  4. ^ NASA (2006). "NASA Uses Undersea Lab to Prep for Future Space Exploration". NASA. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  5. ^ "NASA Space Simulation and Training Project: NEEMO 10". 2010-05-18. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  6. ^ NASA Assigns Crew for STS-132 Space Shuttle Mission NASA release : 09-105 - May 14, 2009
  7. ^ NASA Assigns Crew for STS-134 Shuttle Mission, Change to STS-132 NASA release : 09-187 - August 11, 2009
  8. ^ Ken Kremer (16 June 2013). "Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova; 1st Woman in Space 50 Years Ago! Ready for Mars". Universe Today. 

External links[edit]