Minnesota astronaut aboard space station calls home

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Minnesota native Karen Nyberg, 43, now on her second trip aboard the International Space station, called home via satellite to chat with WCCO.

Nyberg was aboard a Soyuz spacecraft that blasted off from Kazakhstan on May 28.

More than 200 experiments are planned for Nyberg's mission, NASA reports. NASA says Nyberg is acting as the eyes, ears and hands for more than 400 researchers on the ground who use data from the experiments to help improve life on Earth. The experiments are advancing research in medicine, robotics and advanced water filtration and purification systems, among other fields, NASA says.

Nyberg, who sees 16 sunsets a day, is tweeting from space, including some spectacular photos of the planet.

The WCCO story is thin on details about the work Nyberg is doing, and focuses on how she is keeping in touch with her 3-year-old son. At least one blogger has said media coverage of Nyberg's trip to the space station has been sexist – focusing on the fact that she is a mother, Huffington Post notes. Few media reports have made any mention that her two Soyuz flight mates, both men, are fathers, blogger Jessica Luther notes.

News accounts have focused on how Nyberg was savoring Mother's Day with her 3-year-old before the mission, and bringing craft supplies to fill her free time.

Here's the WCCO interview:

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