Minnesota native and UND graduate returns from space
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — University of North Dakota graduate Karen Nyberg has returned from her most recent trip into space.
A Russian space capsule carrying Nyberg and two other astronauts returned to Earth on Monday from the International Space Station in a flawless landing in Kazakhstan. They brought the Sochi Olympic torch with them, and Nyberg brought home a UND hockey puck, according to the University.
As many as six current and former UND women's hockey players will be on various Olympic rosters, and many former UND men's players also are likely to land spots on the U.S. and Canada teams that will compete at the Winter Games next February.
The three astronauts were to be taken for tests at a medical tent at the landing site, then flown to the city of Karaganda for a welcome ceremony.
Nyberg, from Vining, Minn., graduated from UND in 1994, and went on to join NASA and take part in a 2008 mission on the space shuttle Discovery. She blasted off into space again last May. During the mission, she recorded a five-minute message that was played at the university's summer commencement ceremony in August.
Nyberg is the first UND graduate to go into space. She is the 50th woman to do so.