|Engineering alum trains for space flight|
University alum and astronaut Karen Nyberg began an underwater adventure July 22 that's part of her training to fly a future National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space mission.
Nyberg, a Parkers Prairie, Minn., native and 1994 summa cum laude UND mechanical engineering grad, was selected to be a NASA mission specialist in 2000.
Nyberg jumped into a seven-day marine mission in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquarius underwater lab off the coast of Florida. She'll join mission crew leader Koichi Wakata, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut, and NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Karen Kohanovich as part of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 10 project.
The crew will imitate moonwalks in controlled extravehicular undersea activities and will test new communications, navigation, and robotic techniques that will be utilized in future moon and other space missions. This is the 10th NEEMO mission.
"I'm really looking forward to this mission," says Nyberg, an expert in mission-critical human temperature regulation in space suits.
Nyberg's also done computational fluid dynamic analysis related to environmental control and life support systems for the Advanced Mars and Lunar Lander Mission studies. She is currently assigned to NASA's space shuttle and exploration branches. She'll serve in technical assignments until NASA books her on a space flight.
Nyberg, who also holds a doctorate and a master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin in mechanical engineering, earned top UND honors in addition to her academic achievement (B.S. in mechanical engineering, 1994), including the School of Engineering and Mines Meritorious Service Award for 1991-92 and the Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2004.