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Published March 19, 2013, 09:25 PM

Minnesota Native and UND Grad Prepares for ISS Mission

Karen Nyberg of Vining, Minnesota and the rest of the NASA crew took part in a live news conference today from Johnson Space Center. The UND graduate has been away from family before when she was part of a space shuttle flight in 2008, but a "half year" is another matter.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAZ

Karen Nyberg of Vining, Minnesota and the rest of the NASA crew took part in a live news conference today from Johnson Space Center. The UND graduate has been away from family before when she was part of a space shuttle flight in 2008, but a "half year" is another matter.

For the last several months, Karen Nyberg has been preparing for a life changing journey away from home. Away from earth. Training with two other crew members for the May launch in Kazahkstan to the International Space Station where she will spend six months.

Nyberg: "Think you just go with the flow, make sure things are in the order you want things to be when you leave."

Nyberg, a runner, compares the marathon in space to the long race, full of hills and mental and physical exhaustion.

Karen: "Can't make one foot go in front of the other again. But I did. I can imagine when you're on the space station for a long time and you miss your family, at times you probably wonder how am I going to make it to tomorrow, I want to give my son a hug, but you power through it. And I think that kind of correlates well, and you find the strength to get the job done."

Before a worldwide audience of journalists and bloggers, Nyberg and the crew talked of the medical and science experiments the space station will run during the six month stay. But there will be time for some fun. Nyberg is a big Pinterest fan. A quilter, crafter.

Nyberg: "I like to sew and draw and do things like that...I have some jewelry from my late grandmothers, which will mean a lot to me to get pictures of them to give back to my parents. I plan to bring a lot of pictures, and some toys my son likes that I'll have with me. And also i hope to have piano music uplinked so i can play the keyboard just for fun."

Nyberg credited the women who came before her who helped pave the way for her and others to play such an incredible role in space exploration. In two months, the journey begins. A view of home from space.

Nyberg said at the news conference she hopes to finally get a chance to take a picture of her hometown of Vining from space, without clouds getting in the way.

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