ESA astronaut André Kuipers is the second Dutch astronaut to fly in space. In 2004 he flew on mission DELTA, an eleven day mission to the International Space Sation (ISS). In 2011 he will return to the ISS, this time for 5,5 months. Kuipers is married, has three daughters and a son. He likes flying, diving, skiing, travelling and history.
After high school Kuipers studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam. He worked as a doctor at the Dutch Royal Airforce. In addition he researched spatial disorientation in pilots and space sickness with astronauts. In 1991 he started work at the European Space Agency as coordinator of physiological space-experiments.
Training for flight
André Kuipers joined the European Astronaut Corps in 1998. He supported many missions and trained for his own flight: mission DELTA. The mission lasted from 19 to 20 April. The mission had a packed scientific schedule and André was visible in all media with a huge grin on his face.
After his first flight, Kuipers continued to work and train for ESA as reserve crew for his Belgian colleague Frank de Winne and the Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa. The 21st of December 2011 is the date Kuipers has been waiting for. He will be launched on his second Sojuz rocket flight together with NASA astronaut Don Pettit and the Russian Oleg Kononenko. Together they are the 31st permanent crew of the ISS.