Follow alumni leader Tim O'Keefe as he treks to Kazakhstan for grad's space launch


David L. Dodds

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Follow alumni leader Tim O'Keefe as he treks to Kazakhstan for grad's space launch

University of North Dakota alumni leader Tim O'Keefe is in Moscow through Saturday after his stay in Kazakhstan, where he witnessed a UND graduate attain heights unmatched by any other – literally.

Alumna Karen Nyberg launched into space again Tuesday, May 28, for a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

O'Keefe, who's been known to go to the ends of the Earth for UND alums in the past, didn't quite make it to outer space this time around, but he saw Nyberg off as she blasted into the atmosphere from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahhstan.

O'Keefe has been sending dispatches about his travels through Russia since he arrived. Alumni and the general public are encouraged to track Tim's travels through his regular postings at www.undalumni.org/UNDinSpace, and on UND's Area Voice Blog, which appears frequently on the front pages of Forum Communication newspaper websites (i.e. Grand Forks Herald, Forum of Fargo-Moorhead) in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

He's been tweeting messages along way through Twitter. Follow him at @UNDTimOKeefe.

Speaking of Tweets, you also can follow Nyberg's mission through her personal tweets on Twitter @AstroKarenN.

If the stars align so to speak, Nyberg also is slated to deliver UND's Summer Commencement keynote address from space on Aug. 2.

NASA and its International Space Station partners chose Nyberg from an eligible pool of thousands to be part of the 36th international crew to live and work aboard the Space Station.

Nyberg, a Vining, Minn., native, is the first UND alum and only the sixth Minnesotan ever to launch into space. Her first mission was aboard the space shuttle Discovery, which soared into space on May 31, 2008. She graduated summa cum laude from UND in 1994, with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Nyberg, a NASA flight engineer, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, and docked with the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft. She is slated to return to earth in November.

David Dodds

University and Public Affairs writer

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