Major Tom to Ground Control: Astronaut addresses UND grads from space


All puns aside, Minnesota native and current orbiting astronaut Karen Nyberg had some worldly words while addressing graduate of University of North Dakota Friday.

Of course, she was floating in her tin can, far above the world, giving the speech from the International Space Station, which is in ... you know, outer space.

Far out, we said earlier, but Nyberg trumped that by saying she wanted to give a speech that was "literally out of this world," reports the Grand Forks Herald.

No, seriously, though, "Global understanding is key to the survival of our planet," she said, according to the Herald. "You are all lucky to be graduating from a university with such a strong international presence, with some 70 countries represented."

Did we mention she was transmitting from outer space to about 150 graduates on campus at the Chester Fritz Auditorium?

No big deal, UND says; it's not even the first time someone from outer space has spoken at the school, according to the Herald. Sean O'Keefe, a former top NASA administrator, gave a speech in 2005 that included a prerecorded message from astronauts.

Still, the Vining, Minn. native is the first UND alumna and the sixth (!) Minnesotan ever to go into space.

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