Crafty Minnesota astronaut headed home from space

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The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports a local woman is heading home from space. Astronaut Karen Nyberg, a University of North Dakota alumna and native of Vining, Minn., begins her descent from the International Space Station on Sunday. She's scheduled to land in Kazakhstan Sunday night, then fly home to Houston. Her parents still live in Vining, about 80 miles southeast of Fargo.

“It is going to be a wild ride home, and a lot of fun, but more than anything I am looking forward to seeing my husband and my son,” she said Friday.

She has been flight engineer in a tiny compartment with eight men she calls brothers, but she has used the internet to amass a global following. Her Pinterest boards have 4300 followers, and 90,000 people follow her on Twitter. She is known for breathtaking photographs and her space-made crafts, including a velcro dinosaur she sent home for her preschool-aged son on a refueling spacecraft.

The Weather Channel called her photos of earth from space "mind-blowing." It posted a gallery that includes recent views of the eruption of Mt. Etna and Hurricane Raymond, as well as shots of the Grand Canyon and the Appalachian Mountains.

Nyberg has been an astronaut since 2000, and on the ISS since May 2013. In an interview on the NASA website, she says she grew up in rural Minnesota in a family that made crafts and music together.

"I love to create," Nyberg said. "I would really like people to see you can have a job like this, which is very technical, and still have hobbies that are not."

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