The Progress space ferry brought up some nice presents for me as well as the usual supplies. One of these is a Fokke & Sukke t-shirt. Initially I did not realise that the t-shirt has a unique drawing made by Jean-Marc van Tol on request by my wife Helen. It is great. The joke is: “I went to space and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.” Not many people can claim that of course… I am continuously amazed by how many people are following my mission. Songs have been dedicated to me by Marillion and I have received video messages from a member of Pink Floyd as well as from Harry Sacksioni. Last week Helen went to receive in my name the ships horn from the decommissioned Dutch navy ship Southern Cross. I immediately took a
Some people put me on a pedestal as a hero and that makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Especially when young colleagues in the space industry look up to me. I am only doing my job. I am part of a large team, with many people working back on Earth. I just try to perform as best as I can and try not to make any mistakes. Just like everyone else does. But I do understand, I used to feel the same. It is of course magical to float around and to live and work in space and to observe Earth and the wonders of the universe.