André Kuipers Status: Retired 10/5/1958 – Nationality: Dutch Type: Government Agency: European Space Agency André Kuipers is a Dutch physician and ESA astronaut. He became the second Dutch citizen, third Dutch-born and fifth Dutch-speaking astronaut upon launch of Soyuz TMA-4 on 19 April 2004. Kuipers returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-3 11 days later. Kuipers is the first Dutch astronaut to return to space. On 5 August 2009, Dutch minister of economic affairs Maria van der Hoeven, announced Kuipers was selected as an astronaut for International Space Station (ISS) Expeditions 30 and 31. He was launched to space on 21 December 2011 and returned to Earth on 1 July 2012.