The Chamber is excited to bring this special event to our community and Chamber members. These two inspiring leaders will share their journeys, as well as the human aspect of their life and difficult missions, and how we too can overcome personal and professional challenges.
"This is a look into our personal lives and how we navigated through our marriage, space missions, raising a son, and all the day-to-day challenges that come with it. During that same time, we were flying multiple space missions to complete assembly of the International Space Station (ISS), serving on long-duration missions onboard ISS, as well as closing out the space shuttle program and developing and flying the Space X Crew Dragon on its historical first test flight."
Full bios are toward the bottom of the page, after sponsor listing.
Douglas G. Hurley was selected as an astronaut in 2000. A veteran of three spaceflights, he was the pilot on STS‐127 and STS‐135 and Spacecraft Commander on the first crewed test flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon, the Demo-2 Mission, during which he also served as a Flight Engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 63. Hurley holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tulane University. Before joining NASA, he was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps. He has spent a total of 93 days in space.
Karen L. Nyberg was selected by NASA in 2000. The Vining, Minnesota native holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Dakota; a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering also from the University of Texas at Austin. She began as a Co‐op in 1991 and worked for NASA in a variety of areas, and holds a patent for work done on Robot Friendly Probe and Socket Assembly. Nyberg has served on two spaceflights, STS‐124 and Expedition 36/37, and has accumulated 180 days in space.
Doug Hurley (full bio)
Graduated from Owego Free Academy, in Owego, New York, 1984. Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Tulane University, Louisiana, 1988.
Hurley received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1988. After graduation, he attended The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia, and later, the Infantry Officers Course. Following Aviation Indoctrination in Pensacola, Florida, he entered flight training in Texas in 1989 and was designated a Naval Aviator in August 1991. He then reported to Marine Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 101 at the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California, for initial F/A‐18 training. Upon completion of training, he was assigned to Marine All Weather Fighter/Attack Squadron 225, where he made three overseas deployments to the Western Pacific. While assigned to VMFA (AW)‐225, he attended the United States Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course, the Marine Division Tactics Course (MDTC) and the Aviation Safety Officers Course at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, California. Over his 4 1/2 years with the “Vikings,” he served as the Aviation Safety Officer and the Pilot Training Officer. Hurley was then selected to attend the United States Naval Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland, and began the course in January 1997. After graduation in December 1997, he was assigned to the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron (VX‐23) as an F/A‐18 Project Officer and Test Pilot. At “Strike,” he participated in a variety of flight testing, including flying qualities, ordnance separation and systems testing and became the first Marine pilot to fly the F/A‐18 E/F Super Hornet. He was serving as the Operations Officer when selected for the astronaut program. Twelve years into his NASA career, Hurley retired from the United States Marine Corps after proudly serving more than 24 years.
Hurley has logged over 5,500 hours in more than 25 aircraft.
Selected as a pilot by NASA in July 2000, Hurley reported for training in August 2000. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office, which have included Kennedy Operations Support as a “Cape Crusader,” where he was the lead Astronaut Support Personnel (ASP) for shuttle missions STS‐107 and STS‐121. He worked Shuttle Landing and Rollout, served on the Columbia Reconstruction Team at Kennedy Space Center and served in the Exploration branch in support of the selection of the Orion Multi‐Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). He also served as the NASA Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia. In July 2009, Colonel Hurley completed his first spaceflight as pilot on STS‐127, International Space Station Assembly Mission 2J/A. Following that mission, Hurley served as the Astronaut Office Safety Chief. In July 2011, he completed his second spaceflight as pilot on STS‐135, International Space Station Mission ULF7. Following that flight, he served as the Assistant Director, New Programs, for the Flight Crew Operations Directorate (FCOD) at Johnson Space Center, and following the merger of Flight Operations and Mission Operations in August 2014, he became the Assistant Director for the Commercial Crew Program for the newly formed Flight Operations Directorate (FOD). In July 2015, he was selected along with three other astronauts to the Commercial Crew Cadre and subsequently in July 2018, was chosen to command the first crewed test flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon to the International Space Station.
STS‐127, International Space Station Assembly Mission 2J/A, Endeavour (July 15 to July 31, 2009). Hurley delivered the Japanese‐built Exposed Facility (JEM‐EF) and the Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section (ELM‐ES) to the space station. The crew completed the construction of the KIBO Japanese Experiment Module, installed scientific experiments on its Exposed Facility and delivered critical spare parts and replacement batteries to the orbital complex in addition to transferring 24,638 pounds of hardware and 1,225 pounds of water to the station. While the shuttle was docked, the mission featured a record 13 astronauts working aboard the space station, representing all five International Partners: NASA, the Russian Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). The 16‐day mission included five spacewalks and was accomplished in 248 orbits of the Earth, traveling 6,547,853 miles in 15 days, 16 hours, 44 minutes and 58 seconds.
STS‐135/ULF7 (July 8 to July 21, 2011). The Space Shuttle Atlantis carried the “Raffaello” Multi‐Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) to deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the International Space Station. The mission also flew a system to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing spacecraft and returned a failed ammonia pump module to help NASA better understand the failure mechanism and improve pump designs for future systems. STS‐135 was the 33rd flight of Atlantis, the 37th shuttle mission to the space station and the 135th and final mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. The mission, which included one spacewalk by Expedition 28’s Mike Fossum and Ron Garan, was accomplished in 200 orbits of the Earth, traveling 5,284,862 miles in 12 days, 18 hours, 27 minutes and 56 seconds.
SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 and Expedition 63 (May 30 to Aug. 2, 2020) Hurley served as Spacecraft Commander on the first crewed flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon, the Demo-2 mission, launching May 30. The flight marked the return of crewed launches to American soil following the space shuttle program retirement, and was the crewed test flight of the Crew Dragon before the spacecraft could be certified for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station. The flight marked the fifth time in U.S. history that NASA astronauts have flow on a new spacecraft. Upon arrival at the International Space Station on May 31, Hurley became a Flight Engineer for Expedition 63. During his 62 days at the space station, Hurley contributed to more than 110 hours of time to supporting the orbiting laboratory’s investigations and supported four spacewalks as the robotics operator and intravehicular officer. Following an undocking from the space station on Aug. 1, Hurley and crewmate Robert Behnken landed off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on August 2, 2020, having spent 64 days in space.
Magna Cum Laude with Honors, Tulane University; Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidates School; Distinguished Graduate, Tulane University NROTC; Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Navy Pilot Training. Stephen A. Hazelrigg Memorial Award for best Test Pilot/Engineer Team, Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron. Awarded the Legion of Merit, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and various other service awards. In April, 2015, he received the 2014 Tulane University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Karen Nyberg (full bio)
Graduated from Henning Public High School, Henning, Minnesota, 1988. Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, University of North Dakota, 1994. Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1996. Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1998.
Graduate research was completed at The University of Texas at Austin BioHeat Transfer Laboratory where she investigated human thermoregulation and experimental metabolic testing and control, specifically related to the control of thermal neutrality in space suits.
Co-op at Johnson Space Center from 1991 to 1995, working in a variety of areas. She received a patent for work done in 1991 on Robot Friendly Probe and Socket Assembly. In 1998, upon completing her doctorate, she accepted a position with the Crew and Thermal Systems Division, working as an Environmental Control Systems Engineer. Selected as a Mission Specialist by NASA in July 2000, Dr. Nyberg reported for training in August 2000. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, she was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations branch where she served as Crew Support astronaut for the Expedition 6 crew during their six‐month mission aboard the International Space Station. A veteran of two spaceflights, Dr. Nyberg served as a Mission Specialist on STS‐124 and a Flight Engineer for Expedition 36/37. She has since served in the Space Shuttle branch, the Exploration branch, and as Chief of the Robotics branch.
Dr. Nyberg has accumulated 180 days in space over the course of the two missions.
STS-124 (May 31 to June 14, 2008). This was the 123rd space shuttle flight, and the 26th shuttle flight to the International Space Station. Discovery was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and docked with the space station on June 2 to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module‐Pressurized Module (JEM‐PM) and the Japanese Remote Manipulator System. STS‐124 shuttle astronauts delivered the 37‐foot (11‐meter) Kibo lab, added its rooftop storage room and conducted three spacewalks to maintain the station and to prime the new Japanese module's robotic arm for work during nine days docked at the orbiting laboratory. STS‐124 also delivered a new station crew member, Expedition 17 Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff. He replaced Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Garrett Riesman, who returned to Earth with the STS‐124 crew. The STS‐124 mission was completed in 218 orbits, traveling 5,735.643 miles in 13 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes and 7 seconds. Expedition 36/37 (May 28 to November 10, 2013). Dr. Nyberg, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano launched aboard the Soyuz TMA‐09M from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. They were welcomed aboard by Expedition 35 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin and Chris Cassidy. During the expedition, the crew completed 166 days aboard the station and 2,656 orbits of the Earth while travelling more than 70 million miles.
University of North Dakota Honorary Doctorate of Letters (2014); University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award (2014); University of North Dakota College of Engineering & Mines Alumni Academy Inductee (2009); University of North Dakota Sioux Award (2009); University of Texas Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate Award (2009); University of Texas Outstanding Young Mechanical Engineer Award (2008); University of North Dakota Young Alumni Achievement Award (2004); Space Act Award (1993); NASA JSC Patent Application Award (1993); NASA Tech Briefs Award (1993); NASA JSC Cooperative Education Special Achievement Award (1994); Joyce Medalen Society of Women Engineers Award (1993‐94); D.J. Robertson Award of Academic Achievement (1992); University of North Dakota School of Engineering and Mines Meritorious Service Award (1991 through 1992). Recipient of numerous scholarships and other awards.