Doctor and astronaut at the European Space Agency.
André Kuipers received a medical degree from the University of Amsterdam. In 1987 and 1988, as an officer of the Royal Netherlands Air Force Medical Corps, he studied incidents caused by disorientation in pilots of high-performance aircraft. In 1989 and 1990 he worked for the Research and Development department of the Netherlands Aerospace Medical Centre in Soesterberg. He was involved in research on the Space Adaptation Syndrome, contact lenses for pilots, vestibular apparatus, blood pressure and cerebral blood flow in both high-acceleration conditions in a human centrifuge and in microgravity conditions in aeroplanes. In addition, he performed medical examinations on pilots and monitored human centrifuge training and also instructed pilots on the physiological aspects of flying.
In 2004 Kuipers went on his first space mission as part of the 9th main expedition. He was assigned as a Flight Engineer for a Soyuz flight to the International Space Station. His second mission was completed along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and NASA astronaut Don Pettit. He was launched on 21 December 2011 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. In total Kuipers spent 203 days 15 hours 50 minutes and 36 seconds in space.