Dutch ... In ... Spaaaaaace!!!

The Netherlands has its first astronaut! Here’s the news from space.com and The NY Times (requires free sub). I thought it was kind of neat. According to the Times article there’s a bit of fanfare about the whole thing in the Netherlands. Any Dutch Dopers out there want to comment?

Not the first. Coldfire will be right along to mention Wubbo Okkels, who flew in 1985.

Oops. Upon re-reading the article, I notice it says that this fellow is the first Dutch astronaut to visit the ISS. That’s what I get for skimming!

I heard NPR mention this on the way to work, and paraphrased, they said “An American astronaut, a Russian cosmonaut, and a Dutch … spaceman”.

I pondered stubbornly the rest of the drive whether the Dutch spaceman should be called a spaceman, astronaut, or a uniquely Dutch word.

So, what’s Dutch for spaceman?


You’ll hear astronaut as well, though.

“Space-sailor”? That’s rather poetic.

Actually, it’s Wubbo Ockels, not Okkels. Not that this is very important: even in Holland, his name is regarded as kind of strange. I mean, Wubbo?

Wubbo and ‘the new guy’, Kuipers, seem to be cut from the same cloth. By which I mean: they’re both kinda boring. Still, being good at improv comedy does probably not rank very high on the Astronaut List Of Good Character Traits. Which is a shame, because Kuipers will probably be hosting a slew of informative yet slightly boring documentaries on Dutch TV in the years to come. At least, that’s what Wubbo did. Plus, I think he is (was) Hollands official tough guy. I mean, they don’t come any tougher than astronauts, do they? They even rank above fighter pilots, I believe.

Off-topic: this is my first post as a charter member. I’m determined to get my money’s worth. After all, I am Dutch! :wink:

Originally posted by Warnas [what kind of name is that Wim in harnas? :wink:

Yeah. I’ve posted a lot more since I became a member. [might have to do with the speed, ofcourse. heh.]

Did you hear Kuipers brought a comic book and mature cheese with him? Silly Dutch.

Here’s a linky to a previous discussion of Wubbo Clogboy and I had. You’ll have to dig a bit, but stick with it to the end… :stuck_out_tongue:

My bet is that it ain’t a comic book and he’s using the cheese to get some privacy up there…

I know he’s not staying in the ISS for six months, he’s just up there for a few days, but it did start me wondering: which two objects would I take with me on a one-week space trip? (Objects attached to my GF do not count, obviously.)

My Palmtop, probably. Gotta have that! And I’d quite like to take some ‘hagelslag’ (chocolate sprinkles, populair on bread in Holland. Second only to… cheese!) although I’m quite sure Mission Control would not be happy with that. Mmmm… maybe my camcorder. Although they’d probably provide one.

Maybe an expensive watch. And then back on earth sell it to some idiot for ten times the original price :wink:

Maybe there’s a nice, weird, new topic in this!