Inspired by Her Time in Space, NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg Designs New First-Ever “Dinos in Space” Collection for STEAM-Themed Clothing Brand SvahaUSA

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Aboard the ISS, with an out-of-this-world view of Earth against the darkness of space through its windows, Nyberg created a keepsake for her son that is the inspiration for this new “space fashion” collection

Astronaut Karen Nyberg aboard the ISS with her hand-made dinosaur for her son, which has inspired a new "space fashion" collection.

SvahaUSA Founder, Jaya Iyer, reached out to NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg to see if she was interested in partnering with her company to create a collection that represented her journey to space. Nyberg felt that a Dinosaur/Space design would reflect her desire to stay connected to her family on Earth

In a first-ever collaboration, retired NASA astronaut, Karen Nyberg, and leading-edge online STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) themed clothing and accessories brand, SvahaUSA (http://www.svahausa.com) have teamed up to create a new glow-in-the-dark “space fashion” collection called “Dinos in Space” – a nod to a very personal memory for Nyberg during the 166 days she spent on the International Space Station (ISS) and her desire to stay connected to her young son, Jack.

With nearly 30 years of experience in human spaceflight, Nyberg made her first trip to space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 2008, during the height of the ISS construction. On her second spaceflight in 2013, Nyberg launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and lived and worked at ISS for 166 days. While living in space, Nyberg documented authentic, personal moments of life on the ISS such as how to sew and wash your hair in space.

In addition to being an astronaut and engineer, Nyberg is also a talented artist and accomplished seamstress. The story behind the inspiration for the SvahaUSA “Dinos in Space” collection is very personal. While on the ISS, Nyberg (who is married to SpaceX Dragon Spaceship astronaut Doug Hurley), had to be away from her then 3-year old son, Jack. Nyberg sent Jack a short video from space every day that she lived on the space station. Nyberg wanted to make something for Jack while she was living in space. Jack had loved dinosaurs since he saw them in one of his first books. Given the limited space available to take personal items to space, Nyberg took only a small amount of fabric (which she used for the quilt block for the NASA's Astronomical Quilt Challenge) and a few sewing needles and thread. She decided to figure out a way to upcycle fabric that was already on the space station.

“I asked Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin if I could have some of the fabric that lined the Russian food containers to make something,” Nyberg related. “I had free time on a Sunday, so I decided to make something special for Jack. I drew out the dinosaur design then crafted it out of the fabric recycled from the Russian food containers. I stuffed the little dinosaur with cut strips of cloth from one of my used t-shirts and hand stitched it with the ivory thread. After I completed it, I sent Jack a video showing it floating in space,” she added with a smile.

SvahaUSA Founder, Jaya Iyer (also a mom), fell in love with Nyberg’s story (and her art) as it was her daughter’s desire to be an astronaut that launched the company 6 years ago. Svaha (her daughter’s name) was certifiably star-crazed and space-obsessed.

“My daughter’s dream was to be an astronaut,” said Iyer, “but I couldn’t find a single girl’s astronaut shirt, or for that matter, any science or technology-themed clothes for girls. I wanted to encourage my daughter’s passion (and other girls with similar interests) in the best way I knew how – with clothes! I realized there was a missed market for kids who like things that aren’t ‘gender traditional.’ So, I decided to use my industry expertise to create a line of products aimed at changing the landscape of the children’s apparel industry.”

Iyer reached out to Nyberg to see if she was interested in partnering with SvahaUSA to create a collection that represented her journey to space. Nyberg felt that a Dinosaur/Space design would reflect her desire to stay connected to her family on Earth while living in space. Her son, Jack, now 11, still loves dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up and, in fact, gave Nyberg “expert” dino advice on her design for SvahaUSA. Jack picked out his four favorite dinosaurs to include in the design. Nyberg took photos of Jack’s toy dinosaurs and consulted with him so that she would get an accurate depiction for each in her design.

The result is a fun, creative and wonderfully cosmic design with a personal back-story of a NASA astronaut’s desire to stay connected to her family on Earth while she was in space. The project fit all the requirements of Nyberg’s desire to work on projects today that align with her values and interests, including earth conservation and sustainability, motherhood and families, art and STEM – all themes SvahaUSA continually promotes in its clothing designs.

Nyberg’s Svaha USA “Dinos in Space” collection is available now as a children’s tee and dress as well as an adult top and dress exclusively at svahausa.com. And all the dresses have pockets. For interviews with Karen Nyberg and Jaya Iyer contact SvahaUSA publicist Dan Madsen at danielhayesmadsen@gmail.com.

About SvahaUSA

Svaha is a leading-edge online STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) themed clothing and accessories brand who’s online store at http://www.svahausa.com is changing the face of women’s and children’s apparel. Svaha is confronting gender stereotypes with bright, fun clothes to allow kids’ imaginations to soar and creating original and unique dresses to prove that women who love Science & Technology can still be feminine & stylish. Svaha’s high-quality 100% organic, super soft dresses all have a hint of geek, feature pockets and their designs unapologetically celebrate femininity and the awesomeness of women in STEAM. Each style of dress is named after famous female scientists such as Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Ada Lovelace, Ruby Payne-Scott and Dorothy Hodgkin. Svaha celebrates women in all fields of endeavor.

About Karen Nyberg
Dr. Karen Nyberg is a mechanical engineer and astronaut with 30 years of experience working at NASA on human spaceflight. She was selected as a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps in 2000. She made her first trip to space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 2008, during the height of International Space Station (ISS) construction. On her second spaceflight in 2013, Dr. Nyberg launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and lived and worked at ISS for 166 days. Recently retired from NASA, Karen Nyberg is pursuing her passions of creating textile art, designing fabrics to inspire interest in STEAM and helping find solutions for the sustainability of our planet. Nyberg lives in Houston, Texas with her Astronaut husband, Doug Hurley and their dino-loving son, Jack. For more info, check out her website: http://www.karennyberg.com.

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