During his six-month PromISSe mission on the International Space Station, André conducted over 50 scientific experiments in the world's only permanent microgravity laboratory.
A medical doctor by training, André conducted biophysics experiments that could offer insights into fighting osteoporosis, migraines and immune cell death. He also performed experiments in other domains such as biology or looking at improving computer models of fluids. Some experiments might serve to prepare for further exploration of space.
In addition to his scientific workload, André carried out maintenance and operational tasks. Highlights included receiving ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle Edoardo Amaldi cargo ferry and docking the first commercial spacecraft, Dragon.
A video of the highlights of the PromISSe mission:
New blog post from André: ‘I am back on Earth but the mission continues’
In his first blog entry since returning to Earth, ESA astronaut André Kuipers looks back at the intense experience of the landing and explains how the PromISSe mission hasn't quite finished for him yet.
He writes: "My return to Earth with the Soyuz was an intense experience. After undocking we conducted some tests and orbited Earth one more time. Above the South-Atlantic Ocean the braking motor fired for four minutes. 140 kms above Egypt the spacecraft separated into three parts. Above Iraq we entered the atmosphere and the air started to glow. The first part was beautiful, we were surrounded by an orange cocoon. After that the ride was simply unpleasant."
Post-flight testing as well as rehabilitation & debriefings for André Kuipers in the coming weeks
ESA astronaut André Kuipers is spending the next couple of weeks at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, where his PromISSe mission continues with post-flight tests, revalidation and debriefings.
After arriving in Houston early on 2 July he said: "The return journey went perfectly. It was quite tough, I felt sick when I was back on Earth, and wasn't able to walk straightaway. But the care we were given was great and I soon felt better. I was able to take a long sleep in the plane on the way to America. I sat in the grass for a while during one of the stopovers. It smelt so good! I saw the sunset and thought: yes, I am home again."