UT alumna Karen Nyberg lands from space



UT alumna Karen Nyberg (left) landed in Kazakhstan on Sunday after 166 days in space on Expedition 37.

Christina Breitbeil

Karen Nyberg, NASA astronaut and UT mechanical engineering alumna, landed back on Earth yesterday with Expedition 37. 

Nyberg was the flight engineer for the expedition, which began as Expedition 36 on May 28. Nyberg, along with fellow crew members Fyodor Yurchikhin and Luca Parmitano, separated from the rest of their crew on Expedition 36 and departed from the International Space Station on Sept. 10 to begin Expedition 37. The capsule containing the remaining portion of the crew from Expedition 36 landed in Kazakhstan on Nov. 5. 

Although a journey in space may seem to be a fairly difficult concept to grasp for most of the general population, many believe that Nyberg has brought the journey to Earth with her unusually frequent social media usage while in space. Nyberg tweeted about her experiences while on the expedition, consistently sharing pictures illustrating her journey, which caused her to gain a significantly large social media following.

Trey Curran, Plan II and aerospace engineering freshman, said he was particularly interested by Nyberg’s success as an astronaut. 

“As an [undergraduate] in aerospace engineering, Nyberg’s story serves an inspiration,” Curran said. “She shows, through hard work and determination, that any person can reach the top of their profession, whether it be in aerospace or any other field.”