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Nyberg back on Earth: Home from space station, astronaut hopes for UND visit

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GRAND FORKS -- Astronaut Karen Nyberg is back on Earth after spending nearly six months aboard the International Space Station.

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The University of North Dakota graduate and Vining, Minn., native spoke with WDAZ via satellite interview through Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“I’m very, very happy to be home,” she said.

While aboard the space station, her work was heavily focused on scientific experimentation.

“The purpose of the space station now is for scientific investigations, and so we had a number of different investigations we work on,” she said. “A lot of them are to study things that will be important when we travel further into outer space.”

Though orbiting the planet, she also was able to make time for events at home, such as giving the commencement speech at UND’s summer graduation.

“It means a lot to me having gone to the university,” she said. “I got a great education there, and it meant a lot to be able to speak to the students from space.”

And she brought along some UND memorabilia.

“I brought a pennant and I actually displayed that when I did the commencement address for the UND summer students, and I also brought a hockey puck for the UND hockey team,” she said.

The astronaut also stayed in touch by posting on various social media sites such as Pinterest and YouTube.

Now that is back from space, she is hopeful to visit UND sometime next year.

“I hope to get up there as soon as I can, back to the university at some point. It’s such a beautiful campus and I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

 
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