Dutch astronaut breaks own space record

1st January 2012, Comments 0 comments

Astronaut André Kuipers has now spent 11 consecutive days in space, becoming the first Dutch person to do so.

On Sunday morning, he broke the record he set in 2004 during a space mission that lasted 10 days, 20 hours, 52 minutes and 15 seconds. In 1985 Wubbo Ockels and Lodewijk van den Berg spent a week in space. Mr Kuipers’ current mission is scheduled to last five months. He is due to return to Earth on 16 May.

The Soyuz rocket carrying Mr Kuipers and two other astronauts to the International Space Station ISS was launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan on 21 December. On board the ISS are Commander Oleg Kononenko from Russia, NASA flight engineer Don Pettit as well as Mr Kuipers, who is there as a European Space Agency astronaut and flight engineer.

Mr Kuipers will conduct 57 scientific experiments while in space. Some of them will examine the effects of prolonged weightlessness on the human body. He also hopes to send a message to children about the importance of space science.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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