European Space Agency
For André Kuipers the adventure of spaceflight began when he was twelve years old and his grandma gave him in science fiction books in the Perry Rhodan series.
His career is all about spaceflight. Educated as a physician, André first worked as a medical doctor and researcher in the Royal Dutch Airforce, focussing on spatial disorientation of fighter pilots and space sickness of astronauts. After this he started working for the European Space Agency (ESA) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
In 1998 André joined the European Astronaut Corps. After years of training he flew his first mission to the International Space Station in 2004. Eleven days in space, nine of which on board the International Space Station, was too short, André thought. He longed for another mission, a long duration stay, and he got it!
On December 21st 2011 André was launched to space for a stay of 193 days - the longest European space mission in history. Very often André floated around in the media to inspire people with his adventures. Back on earth, that's what he still does today with lectures in the Netherlands and abroad.
Forever an astronaut, André also is ambassador of charity organisations, he promotes science and technology amongst youngsters and raises awareness for the Dutch space industry on behalf of the Dutch Space Office NSO.