Former Dutch astronaut improving in hospital
31 August 2005
AMSTERDAM — The medical condition of former Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels justifies cautious optimism, the Technical University in Delft has said.
Ockels, 59, is a part-time professor with the university’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. He was hospitalised after a serious heart attack last week but a spokesperson for the university said on Tuesday that there were positive developments in his case.
Staff at the Aerospace faculty received an email in which Ockels expressed thanks for the quick assistance he received when he suffered the heart attack. He also said that all projects he is involved in will continue.
Ockels is the technical adviser for a team at Delft taking part in the Solar Challenge Race in Australia.
In 1978, Ockels was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as one of three European payload specialists to train for space missions.
He completed a training course at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas in 1981 and flew in space in October and November 1985 aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
The Second official Dutch astronaut is André Kuipers, 47, who flew to the International Space Station abroad a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in April 2004.
Lodewijk van den Berg was in fact the first Dutchman in space. Born in Sluiskil in the Netherlands in 1932, Van den Berg was a US citizen when he flew in space on Challenger from 29 April to 6 May 6, 1985.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch News + Wubbo Ockels