Astronaut Karen Nyberg designs glow-in-the-dark 'Dinos in Space' clothing line

Former astronaut Karen Nyberg's "Dinos in Space" collection was inspired by her son's love of dinosaurs and her time in space. The exclusive SvahaUSA clothing line is now available.
Former astronaut Karen Nyberg's "Dinos in Space" collection was inspired by her son's love of dinosaurs and her time in space. The exclusive SvahaUSA clothing line is now available. (Image credit: SvahaUSA)

The designer of a new "Dinos in Space" clothing line knows a thing or two about dinosaurs in space.

The latest offering from SvahaUSA, an online shop specializing in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics)-themed apparel, was created by the only astronaut to sew a dinosaur doll out of the fabric she found while on board the International Space Station.

"I teamed up with SvahaUSA to create a design for their STEAM-themed clothing line, inspired by my love of space, my son's love of dinosaurs and the toy I made for him while there!" former NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg announced on Twitter May 18. "These dinosaurs have made their way to space and are gazing back at Earth through their spaceship window."

Related: The best space gifts for kids 2021

Karen Nyberg, as seen in 2013 on the International Space Station, holds the Tyrannosaurus Rex toy she stitched together for her son out of fabric scraps found on the complex.  (Image credit: Karen Nyberg/NASA)

The collection, which includes dresses and shirts, features Nyberg's glow-in-the-dark artwork of green and blue dinosaurs looking out a set of windows styled after the Cupola on the space station. Floating in front of the central pane is the Tyrannosaurus Rex toy that Nyberg stitched together as a gift for her son in 2013.

"I had free time on a Sunday, so I decided to make something special for Jack," Nyberg said, recalling her time on the space station. "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 said.

Nyberg's doll and the story behind it attracted the interest of SvahaUSA's founder, Jaya Iyer, because it reminded her of what inspired the launch of the company six years ago. Svaha, Iyer's daughter and the brand's namesake, was "certifiably star-crazed and space-obsessed."

Related: How NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg readapted to life on Earth

(Image credit: SvahaUSA)

"My daughter's dream was to be an astronaut," Iyer said in a statement, "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," said Iyer.

The "Dinos in Space" collection includes apparel styled for children, women and men.

Nyberg said her dinosaurs in space design reflected her desire to stay connected to her family while living in space. Jack, now 11, provided "expert" advice, picking out his four favorite dinosaurs to include in Nyberg's artwork. Nyberg took photos of his toys and consulted with him so the dinosaurs would be accurately depicted.

(Jack, who Nyberg says wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up, also helped select the blue and pink sequined Apatosaurus "Tremor" toy that lifted off with his father, Doug Hurley, also a NASA astronaut, on SpaceX's first crewed mission in May 2020.)

The new apparel line fit Nyberg's desire to work on projects that align with her values and interests, including Earth conservation and sustainability, motherhood and families, art and STEM — all themes that SvahaUSA promotes in its clothing designs. Nyberg's "Dinos in Space" collection is available now, exclusively from SvahaUSA's website.

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Robert Z. Pearlman Editor, Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.