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André Kuipers

André Kuipers

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André Kuipers (ˈɑndreɪ ˈkœʏpərs) (born in Amsterdam, October 5, 1958) is a Dutch physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 and ESA
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

. He officially became the second Dutch and the third Dutch-born astronaut upon launch of Soyuz TMA-4
Soyuz TMA-4
Soyuz TMA-4 was a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station launched by a Soyuz FG launch vehicle. It was launched on April 19, 2004 from Baikonur Cosmodrome. Gennady Padalka from Russia, Michael Fincke from the USA and André Kuipers from the Netherlands were flown to the International...

 on April 19, 2004. Kuipers returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-3
Soyuz TMA-3
-Mission parameters:*Mass: ? kg*Perigee: 193 km*Apogee: 227 km*Inclination: 51.7°*Period: 88.6 min-Docking with ISS:*Docked to ISS: October 20, 2003, 07:16 UTC...

 11 days later.

Kuipers is scheduled to become the first Dutch astronaut to return to space. On August 5, 2009, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven
Maria van der Hoeven
Maria Josephina Arnoldina van der Hoeven is a Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal party. She is the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency since 1 September 2011....

, announced Kuipers was selected as an astronaut for ISS Expeditions 30
Expedition 30
Expedition 30 is the 30th and current long-duration mission to the International Space Station . The expedition's first three crew members – Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin – arrived on the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-22 on 16 November 2011, during the last phase of...

 and 31
Expedition 31
Expedition 31 is scheduled to be the thirty-first expedition to the International Space Station.-Crew:Source: NASA-External links:**...

. He is slated to be launched to space in December 2011 and return to Earth by June, 2012.

Personal life and education


André Kuipers was born on October 5, 1958 in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, the Netherlands. He graduated from high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 in Amsterdam in 1977, and received a physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 degree from the University of Amsterdam in 1987. He is married and has three daughters and a son.

When interviewed about his youth, Kuipers stated that he dreamed of becoming an astronaut ever since he was a teenager. His dreams became reality when he was selected to the European Astronaut Corps
European Astronaut Corps
The European Astronaut Corps is a unit of the European Space Agency that selects, trains, and provides astronauts as crew members on U.S. and Russian space missions. As of May 2010, 21 ESA astronauts have flown in space, including one female. There are currently 14 active members of the Corps. The...

 in 1998.

Space flight experience


As of September 2009, André Kuipers has flown one space mission: the DELTA mission. In May 2009, he served as the backup of Belgian astronaut Frank de Winne
Frank De Winne
Frank, Viscount De Winne is a Belgian Air Component officer and an ESA astronaut. He is Belgium's second person in space . He was the first ESA astronaut to command a space mission when he served as commander of ISS Expedition 21.-Education:De Winne graduated in 1979 from the Royal School of Cadets...

, who later became the Expedition 21
Expedition 21
Expedition 21 was the 21st long-duration mission to the International Space Station . The expedition began on 30 September 2009, with Frank de Winne becoming the first ESA astronaut to command a space mission....

 commander, during the latter part of his six-month mission. Kuipers himself has been selected to fly a similar mission from December 2011 to June 2012.

Launch and docking


Using the Soyuz
Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz , Union) is a series of spacecraft initially designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau in the 1960s, and still in service today...

 TMA-4
Soyuz TMA-4
Soyuz TMA-4 was a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station launched by a Soyuz FG launch vehicle. It was launched on April 19, 2004 from Baikonur Cosmodrome. Gennady Padalka from Russia, Michael Fincke from the USA and André Kuipers from the Netherlands were flown to the International...

, mounted atop a Soyuz-FG
Soyuz-FG
The Soyuz-FG launch vehicle is an improved version of the Soyuz-U, from the R-7 family of rockets, designed and constructed by TsSKB-Progress in Samara...

 rocket, Kuipers and his fellow cosmonauts Gennady Padalka
Gennady Padalka
Gennady Ivanovich Padalka is a Russian Air Force officer and an RSA cosmonaut. As of June 2010, Gennady ranks sixth for career time in space due to his time on both Mir and the International Space Station....

 (Russia) and Michael Fincke (USA) rocketed towards the ISS in the early morning of April 19, 2004. The spacecraft flawlessly docked to the ISS two days later.

Experiments


As part of his so-called DELTA mission, Kuipers conducted 21 experiments in orbit on a wide range of subjects: physiology
Physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

, biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, microbiology
Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

, medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, technological development, physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 and Earth observation
Earth observation
Earth observation is the gathering of information about planet Earth’s physical, chemical and biological systems. It is used to monitor and assess the status of, and changes in, the natural environment and the built environment. In recent years, Earth observation has become technologically more and...

. Maybe the best-known experiment involved plant growth: Seeds in Space. Kuipers cooperated with primary school children in the Netherlands to compare results of plant growth from orbit with those from Earth.

Landing


Padalka and Fincke remained on board the ISS for six months, as the Expedition 9
Expedition 9
Expedition 9 was the 9th expedition to the International Space Station.-Crew:-Mission parameters:*Perigee: 384 km*Apogee: 396 km*Inclination: 51.6°*Period: 92 minthumb|left|250px|Edward M...

 crew.

Kuipers returned to Earth nearly eleven days after launch on April 30, joined by leaving ISS crew members Alexander Kaleri (Russia) and Michael Foale
Michael Foale
Colin Michael Foale, CBE, PhD is a British-American astrophysicist with dual citizenship and a NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of six space shuttle missions and extended stays on both Mir and the International Space Station...

 (USA), who thereby ended their six-month stay on board the ISS.

Future flight


On November 26, 2008, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven
Maria van der Hoeven
Maria Josephina Arnoldina van der Hoeven is a Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal party. She is the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency since 1 September 2011....

 pushed for a second, six-month mission of André Kuipers in 2011. In the same speech, she said she would support the ISS project with an extra 'few' million euros.

After a call with ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain
Jean-Jacques Dordain
Jean-Jacques Dordain is the current Director General of the European Space Agency and has held the position since 2003....

 on August 4, 2009, Maria van der Hoeven could finally confirm on August 5 that André Kuipers would be making a second space flight, starting in December 2011. Kuipers will remain in space for approximately six months and return in June 2012. He is the first astronaut to have been selected for ISS Expeditions 30
Expedition 30
Expedition 30 is the 30th and current long-duration mission to the International Space Station . The expedition's first three crew members – Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin – arrived on the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-22 on 16 November 2011, during the last phase of...

 and 31
Expedition 31
Expedition 31 is scheduled to be the thirty-first expedition to the International Space Station.-Crew:Source: NASA-External links:**...

.

External links