May 1, 2018

New beetle named after astronaut André Kuipers

Filed under: Science by Orangemaster @ 11:58 am

A new species of water beetle discovered during a trip to Borneo arranged by scientists at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and a Dutch firm, Taxon Expeditions, has been named after Dutch astronaut André Kuipers. On the same trip, another beetle was named after American actor Leo DiCaprio for his environmental activism.

When determining a new species of beetle, scientists need to dissect the male genitalia in order to distinguish one variety of water beetle from another. “An internal membranous sac in the male is covered with spines, though whether these aid stimulation during sex or have another role is unknown.”

Kuipers also has a planetoid named after him.

(Link:, Photo: NASA)

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October 16, 2015

The Netherlands seen as a network of light

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 3:48 pm


This week Post NL has issued a set of stamps designed by Daan Roosegaarde, depicting the Netherlands as a network of light seen from space, shaped by its cities and roads.

The Netherlands looks like a lit up jellyfish and reminds me of when you fly over the country at night. Roosegaarde says the stamps offer both literal and figurative enlightenment, with each stamp featuring a different part of the Netherlands. Roosegaarde was inspired by aerial photos taken by Dutch astronaut André Kuipers and satellite photos of the Netherlands, after which he incorporated his own interpretation into the images.

I suggest you look at André Kuipers’ Flickr stream if you haven’t yet, some of his pictures are definitely inspiring.

(Link and image:

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September 10, 2013

Astronaut André Kuipers does voice-over work for Disney

Filed under: Film by Orangemaster @ 10:53 am

Dutch astronaut André Kuipers is taking an interesting step in his career. He has been asked to do voice-over work for the Dutch version of the Disney animated movie Planes, a spin-off/continuation of Pixar’s hit movie Cars.

Kuipers, 54, will be speaking the role of Bravo, a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet originally being spoken by American actor Val Kilmer. He said he finds it difficult because you see the images and you really have to pretend it’s you.

Having a closer peak at the voices for the American version, Julia Louis-Dreyfus who many of you know as Elaine Benes from 1990s’ sitcom Seinfeld will be voicing Rochelle, a French Canadian racing plane originally from Québec that used to deliver mail faster than any other plane, says Louis-Dreyfus in an interview. The flag and paint job to be localized in 11 countries, which means they’ll pick other minorities. I wonder what they’ll pick in the Netherlands.

(Link:, Photo: NASA)


April 17, 2012

The Yugoslavian chapter of the Yuri Gargarin fan club

Filed under: Film,History by Orangemaster @ 9:53 pm

Last year, we told you about the booklet ’50 years of human space flight’ written in English by Steve Korver, with photos by film director René Nuijens who had gone to Russia to gather information on Russia’s Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. This year marks the 51st anniversary of his famous feat, and the guys put together this film about a man from Belgrade who dreamt of becoming a cosmonaut ever since he was a boy.

And if you like your space fix more modern, you have to see Dutch astronaut André Kuipers’ Flickr photostream. He’s up there right now taking pics almost every day.


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December 30, 2011

Dutch astronaut André Kuipers wears Heerlen space watch

Filed under: Design,Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 6:06 pm

The watch Dutch astronaut André Kuipers is currently wearing in space was specially designed and made for him by watchmaker Roland Oostwegel from Heerlen, which is positive news from a city that has had to tear down an entire shopping mall right before Christmas for fear of collapse.

The watch bears the name R.O.1 SPACE Special Edition (pics) and will stay five months in space at the ISS on Kuipers’ wrist. It is the first-ever Dutch watch to go into space. I love how the second watch has a number four that looks like the capital Russian letter ‘d’ (Д).

When Kuipers met Oostwegel he told him about how astronauts lose their sense of time. Oostwegel then decided to create a watch for astronauts to solve this problem, with a mission counter that displays the elapsed mission time in days and weeks, and an extra sub dial for when the space ship has made one full lap around planet Earth in 91 minutes and 59 seconds.

Price for the stainless steel limited edition starts at 4900 euro.

(Link:,, Photo of a telescope at the Brunssummerheide (‘Brunssum heather’) in Heerlen)

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June 14, 2011

Help name André Kuipers’ space mission

Filed under: General,Science by Orangemaster @ 12:35 pm


The ESA (European Space Agency) is looking for people to come up with a name for Dutch astronaut André Kuipers’ second space mission. He’s going up to the ISS (International Space Station) for six months this time to do scientific experiments and educational activities with schoolchildren throughout Europe. Oh, and fix things.

His first mission was called DELTA, which stood for Dutch Expedition for Life Science, Technology and Atmospheric Research and also echoed the Delta works in the North Sea. This mission is a European one with the environment, climate and biodiversity as a focus.

Send in your suggestions before 6 pm Dutch time, 30 June 2011 at Be sure to read the ESA rules, as only people of ESA Member States can send something in. The winning name will be the official mission name and the winner will get a framed mission logo signed by European astronauts.


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October 6, 2009

Engineering shorts

Filed under: Automobiles,Aviation,Online by Branko Collin @ 8:48 am

soyuz_clogNews from the tech trenches.

– The Nuna 5 solar powered car ran into a ditch last Saturday while preparing for the annual World Solar Challenge, writes Telegraaf (Dutch). The student-built car was driving at a speed of 110 kph at the time. Driver Jelle managed to get out unhurt, but several components of the car, including the solar panel, turned out to be damaged. The team from Delft University expects to have repaired the damage before the October 25 start.

See here for a drag race between Nuna 5 and its predecessor, Nuna 4, during happier times.

Layar (augmented reality) includes an application that will let you spot the houses of the famous called BN’er Verkenner (Celeb Scout). US actor Brad Pitt, enjoying a quite afternoon in his Amsterdam canal house, was its victim in this video posted at Engadget.

Layar is a mobile phone tool that adds a geographic layer to your Android phone’s operating system, letting you check out what’s available near your current location.

The Netherlands has its own space organisation. The NSO (Netherlands Space Office) was kickstarted last Wednesday by Minister Maria van der Hoeven (Economic Affairs) and astronaut André Kuipers. The NSO is supposed to help design and build a Dutch space programme, according to Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch).

Kuipers was recently selected for a half-year stay at the International Space Station starting December 2010.

(The illustration is a mock-up by me, not an actual NSO lifting body design space craft on top of a Soyuz rocket. Photo of a Soyuz rocket by NASA.
Photo of a big clog by Jocelyn Kinny, some rights reserved.)

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August 5, 2009

André Kuipers to stay half a year in space

Filed under: Science by Branko Collin @ 10:19 am

André Kuipers has been to space before, but according to De Telegraaf (Dutch) this time the Amsterdam medical doctor is scheduled for a half year stay on the ISS as part of expedition 30/31. He should be launched to the space station in a Soyuz TMA space craft (seats three) in December 2010.

Kuipers went to space before as an ESA astronaut on a 10-day trip in 2004 on top of a Soyuz rocket. He was the second Dutch astronaut, following in the footsteps of Wubbo Ockels. I remember his launch rekindled my interest in space exploration back then, and I am only a jaded 41- year-old. Imagine how Dutch kids will respond to seeing a countryman in space.

(Photo: NASA)

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August 3, 2007

Astronaut Kuipers gets a planetoid named after him

Filed under: Dutch first,Science by Orangemaster @ 11:07 am
Andre Kuipers

After spending nine days in the International Space Station (ISS) in 2004, Dutch astronaut André Kuipers now has a planetoïd named after him by the International Astronomical Union. The small planet revolves around the sun between the planets Mars and Jupiter. It was discovered by a Leiden astronomer couple, the late C.J. van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld on photos that were taken by Dutch astronomer Tom Gehrelsde in the US. The Leiden astronomers had discovered more than 1,000 planetoïds.

(Link: Kennislink)

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