Minn. Native Describes Life Aboard Int’l Space Station

Updated: 10/28/2013 7:50 AM KSTP.com By: Tim Sherno

Minnesota native Karen Nyberg is currently living and working aboard the International Space Station. Nyberg is from Vining, Minn., about 160 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Until her return to earth, she's orbiting 267 miles above the planet and traveling just over 17,100 miles an hour.

Nyberg spoke with 5 EYEWITNESS News Reporter Tim Sherno from the International Space Station while part of the crew for Expedition 37.

Nyberg has been in space before, on one mission, she was part of the crew that delivered the largest module to become part of the ISS. According to Nyberg, work has now shifted from construction, to research. "The space station is mostly built, so we like to spend as much time as possible on science," she said. According to NASA's website, Expedition 37 is focused on human health and physiology.

Nyberg is married with one child. According to her NASA profile, she enjoys running and sewing. Even though technology allows Nyberg and the other astronauts to have frequent contact with family, Nyberg says it's not the same.

"I miss my family, my husband and my son," she said. "I miss them dearly. I'm really looking forward to getting back to them, and to my home."

The ISS travels around the earth several times each day, and its orbit takes it over different regions with each pass. Nyberg remembers orbiting over her home town of Vining.

"The first time I was able to see my hometown area in central Minnesota was pretty special," she said. "That was a couple of months ago now, I believe, and I actually got a picture of the lakes area where I grew up; that was pretty neat to see."

The life of an astronaut aboard the ISS is very scheduled, with long days filled with a long list of duties and responsibilities. Even so, Nyberg says there is down-time.

"We do get some off time," she said. "We usually work daytimes, about 7 in the morning until 7 at night during weekdays. And then we have weekends mostly off, we do some housekeeping on Saturdays to keep the filters clean and the walls clean."

Nyberg says she never gets tired of the views, "Sunrises are absolutely incredible; I could watch those over and over."

According to NASA's website, Nyberg will return to earth on Nov. 10.

Click here to watch an extended interview with Nyberg.