NASA NEEMO and International Space Station Crews Discuss Sunita William’s Increasingly Famous Dog “Gorby”

By Keith Cowing
May 18, 2007
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NASA NEEMO and International Space Station Crews Discuss Sunita William’s Increasingly Famous Dog “Gorby”

Editor’s note: The following excerpt regarding Sunita Williams’ increasingly famous dog “Gorby” is from a live “ship to ship” conversation between the NEEMO 12 crew aboard the Aquarius habitat and Suni Williams aboard the International Space Station held on 17 May 2007:

Suni Williams/ISS: “I also want to say thank you so much for bringing Gorby with you. Its really cool to see him. You guys know I really miss him, I miss home – but up here its such a wonderful experience. But to see him there with you is pretty cool – so thank you so much.”

Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper/NEEMO: “Well, Suni, you should be getting an email – I passed it on to Shannon to send you. Yesterday we had our PAO event – and when we had it with Keith Cowing from NASA Watch [transcript]. He asked us ‘who the dog was’ [on the Aquarius refrigerator]. So we told him all about it – that it was your dog, at that it was “Flat Gorby”. So, in the article he wrote, well, I think NEEMO got mentioned, but the rest of the article was all about Gorby. [Laughter] So now Gorby is a celebrity.”

NEEMO Male crewmember: “[Keith] even sent instructions on how to create your own Gorby and to send pictures back of the exotic places anyone travels to [with Gorby]. You’ll be getting a lot of pictures.”

Heidi: “Yea, we’re going to go ahead and send him a better picture – I think he just tried to take an image off of the webcam. So we’re going to take a nice picture of Gorby and send it to NASA Watch.”

Suni: “Gorby is going to be our new little diplomat. He’s got the Russian name, and he’s pretty feisty, and everybody knows who he is.”

Heidi: “Yea, you’re going to come back for your post flight PR and they’re not going to ask you about space, they’re going to ask you about Gorby.”


NEEMO Male crewmember: “Where’s the dog? We want to talk to the dog”


SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.