Animals are no strangers to space. Before man orbited the earth or set foot on the moon, those of the four legged variety have braved the new frontier. Scientists were concerned about the effects of macro and micro gravity on biological functions so used animals to ‘test the waters’, so to speak, before daring to send up a homo sapien. You won’t see animals making the trek up to space so much any longer – or will you?
Truthfully, the sort of animal that manages to get past Earth’s atmosphere is usually not alive. The presence of a stuffed animal – while not always in the cockpit, it’s very common. Such a toy is placed as a zero-g indicator. When the toy floats, they’ve hit orbit!
Recently, however, one astronaut did something that no one had ever done before. Karen Nyberg, a NASA astronaut who is currently an Expedition 37 crew member at the international space station, recently added a pictureto her Pinterest board. It was the image of a stuffed dinosaur she had made for her son. While Nyberg had procured sewing supplies to carry with her into space, the tiny tyrannosaurus was tenderly tailored for Nyberg’s son who is currently with his father back here on Earth. The materials? Nyberg states, “It is made out of velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers found here on the International Space Station. It is lightly stuffed with scraps from a used t-shirt.”. Karen Nyberg – boldly creating where no one has created before.