Today Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte joined students at the Delft University of Technology in a call to Dutch astronaut André Kuipers on board the International Space Station.
“Andre, this is Mark Rutte. How are you?” “I’m doing excellent,” said Kuipers at the ISS. “I am now 2.5 weeks in space and start to get used to it. I really start to feel at home.”
“The best view is the turquoise waters of the Bahamas. Even at night, the earth is beautiful. You see illuminated cities, lightning and northern lights” said Kuipers.
Rutte is extremely proud of the Dutchman. “talking to Kuipers is one of the best things in my job so far”, the Prime Minister said.
As part of the event in Delft, ESA astronaut Frank De Winne will present his 2009 mission to the ISS (not part of the NASA TV transmission). In 2009 Frank also made a call from the ISS to the Delft University of Technology. At that time André Kuipers was present in Delft and made his own presentation about spaceflight and life on the ISS.
Kuipers will stay this time five months in space. He will returns to earth on May 16. Kuipers is the third astronaut from the Netherlands. Dr. Ockels and Louis van den Berg had been one week in space in 1985.