Andre Kuipers

Born 5 October 1958, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In July 1999, Andre Kuipers joined the European Astronaut Corps of the European Space Agency, whose homebase is at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany.

(above) Two versions of the Dutch national flag as worn by Andre Kuipers during the DELTA mission.


The mission logo designed by the Dutch design agency Crasborn BV shows the mission name sheltered behind a planet with three stars. The planet represents Earth and takes the colours of the Dutch tricolour flag: red, white and blue. The Dutch tricolour first appeared in the 16th century when Dutch provinces, led by Prince William of Orange, revolted against Spain. At this time the red stripe was orange though this became rare after 1660. The flag was not officially decreed until 19 February 1937 when an Order was laid down by the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina.

The red and blue primary colour also show up in the word DELTA as block colours together with the third primary colour yellow in the stars and with the black letters on a white background. This is representative and indicative of the art movement "De Stijl" (1917 to 1931), which was started by a group of Dutch artists and architects including Theo van Doesburg, Gerrit Rietveld and Piet Mondrian, the latter whose paintings typified the movements philosophy and approach: The movement advocated abstraction and simplicity with the reduction to primary colours with black and white using basic geometric forms.

The three stars in the logo represent more than a link colour-wise to Dutch art history through colour and the obvious goal of space in the mission. They further represent the three partners in the DELTA mission: The European Space Agency (ESA), The Dutch Government and the Russian Space Agency, Rosaviakosmos (Now the Russian Federal Space Agency, FKA since 13 March 2004).

(6 November 2003) - The Dutch Ministers for Economic Affairs and for Education, Culture & Science have announced the mission name of the next Soyuz flight to the International Space Station. This mission has been christened "DELTA". Flanked by Kuipers, Minister Van der Hoeven unveiled the mission logo.

Why Delta

The Netherlands goes to space with DELTA Mission

ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers flight to the International Space Station (ISS) at the end of April has been named the "DELTA Mission". DELTA stands for Dutch Expedition for Life Science, Technology and Atmospheric Research. This name gives an impression of the broad-based scientific programme that Kuipers is going to perform on board the International Space Station.

Delta in the Netherlands

DELTA also makes reference to the Dutch Delta Works, which protect the land from the ravages of the North Sea during storms, and thus to the inventiveness of the Netherlands. Of course, DELTA also refers to the river delta that has shaped the Netherlands and endows it with an important position in international shipping.

Ministries patch

Mission DELTA was made possible by funding by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Education, Culture & Science. Above the patch with the logo's of the two Ministries.

Collecting Delta

The Delta patch made by Randy Hunt.

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