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Astronaut Mother Keeps In Touch With Son From Outer Space

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(credit: CBS) Mike Binkley
Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 year...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota native Karen Nyberg, 43, is now on her second trip to the International Space station.

She was aboard a Soyuz spacecraft that lifted off from Kazakhstan on May 28, headed for the International Space Station. She became the 50th woman in space during her first trip to the ISS in 2008 – before she became a mother.

In a satellite interview with WCCO, she talked about keeping in touch with her young boy during the six-month mission.

“I actually recorded some stories before I left for him,” she said. “But I’ve been making a quick little video for him every day, about 20 seconds long, and sending it down.”

Nyberg is married to astronaut Douglas Hurley, so their son is used to unusual experiences – although he may not fully appreciate yet how different his life is.

In one video this week, Nyberg held up a stuffed animal that she took with her to space.

“And evidently when he watched it, he kind of started to cry and said ‘I want that one,’” she said. “So it wasn’t as impressive that it was in space as I was hoping it would be.”

She is, however, impressing her peers with the series of experiments she’s doing over the next six months.

But she also has down time to do some of her favorite activities such as quilting, reading and taking photos.

One of the most recent pictures she posted to her Twitter page shows her sipping a double mocha cappuccino from a pouch and eating a scone.

“That was a cinnamon scone,” she said. “That was on Sunday morning, and it was a nice relaxing, get out of bed and have my coffee (morning). I felt like I was at a coffee house at home.”

She is also taking plenty of pictures of her 360 degree view of Earth, and she sees 16 sunsets a day.

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