About Karen

Karen Nyberg

Dr. Karen Nyberg
Retired NASA Astronaut, Engineer

Dr. Karen Nyberg is an engineer, astronaut, and artist who, through nearly thirty years of experience in human spaceflight, has gained an appreciation for the value of working within and across diverse political ideologies, cultural values, and world views to advance critical missions.

Karen was selected as a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps in 2000. She made her first trip to space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 2008, during the height of International Space Station (ISS) construction, delivering and installing the Japanese Laboratory. On her second spaceflight in 2013, Karen launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and lived and worked at ISS for 166 days.

Prior to astronaut selection, Karen worked as an Environmental Control Systems Engineer at the Johnson Space Center where she led several design and analysis initiatives in the areas of space vehicle and space suit thermal and environmental control.  Recently retired from NASA, Karen is currently pursuing interests in the areas of conservation and sustainability, fully appreciating the responsibility for innovation and technology to strive to meet those needs.

Karen received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota and graduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and has been honored with the highest alumni award from each alma mater.

Karen lives in Park City, Utah with her husband, Astronaut Doug Hurley, their son, Jack, and two sweet dogs, Leo and Luke.


Mention the words “NASA Astronaut” and most people immediately think of exceptional scientists and smart, technical engineers.  Less often would someone describe an Astronaut as a talented artist or accomplished seamstress.  Yet, Karen Nyberg is all of these things.

During her last mission in space, Karen showcased her artistry by sewing while living on the International Space Station and sparked a worldwide quilting project to commemorate the effort.  Click below to learn more about Karen's artwork and The Astronomical Quilt Block Challenge.

 Fabric Collections designed by Karen Nyberg

I am excited to share my signature fabric collections designed for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  These fabric collections are based on photographs that I took of Earth while living in Space:

"Earth Views", a group of 30 textural prints. Released in 2022.

 "Orbital Sunrise", a group of batik prints.  Release date:  January 2024.

Available in fabric stores worldwide.

Karen Nyberg in the ISS looking up through the cupola window

Brand collaborations

While living in space for 180 days, Karen documented authentic, personal moments of life on the International Space Station. She created daily videos to stay connected with her son on earth and showed the world how to sew and wash your hair in space.  While living in space, Karen gained a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of life and the fragile beauty of our planet.

These days, she is on a mission to work with brands, organizations and people who are taking steps to make the world a better place.  Karen uses her content, art and celebrity voice to help bring attention to issues and tell brand stories. She likes to work on projects that align with her values and interests, including:  earth conservation and sustainability, motherhood and families, a healthy lifestyle, sewing, art and STEM.


Astronaut Karen Nyberg

Get ready to be inspired by Karen Nyberg and her story of being raised in a dugout house outside of a small town in Minnesota to becoming the 50th woman to travel to space.  Karen is an accomplished astronaut who flew two space missions and holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering.   She found a way to parent her small child from space while living on the ISS and gained first hand knowledge of the importance of communication in a socially distanced world.   Through her life stories, Karen will explain how setting goals, building the right teams and perseverance can make anything happen. 


Popular topics: Reaching New Heights | Team Building | Communication & Trust | Women in Space | Innovation & Creativity | Goals & Accountability | Safety, Health & Environment | Sustainability

Media Room

Karen Nyberg

What is it like to actually parent from Space?

Glamour Magazine interview with Hilary Swank and Karen Nyberg  |  September 4, 2020

Karen Nyberg

Saving a SpaceMan from Drowning

NBC News | July 20,2017

Karen Nyberg

Astronaut Karen Nyberg Discusses re-adjusting to life on Earth

CBS News  |  Nov 20, 2013


Videos from Space



Kratt Brothers Video button

The Kratt Brothers (Wild Kratts)

The Kratt Brothers Creature Hero Foundation is a new opportunity for you to join a team of fellow Creature Adventurers and help the amazing animals you love! We believe that we all have the ability to make a real, tangible difference for wildlife across the world and we want to empower you and people of all ages to do just that!

BECOME A CREATURE HERO TODAY at: https://creaturehero.org


Dr. Karen Nyberg is exclusively represented by The Hipsetter Group, a marketing, branding and talent management agency.  For information on how to engage with Karen Nyberg, please send an email to info@hipsettergroup.com or fill out the form below.

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