In 1977, André Kuipers graduated from Van der Waals Lyceum (now Amstel Lyceum), Amsterdam. Received a Medical Doctor degree from the University of Amsterdam in 1987.
Member of the Aerospace Medical Association, the Dutch Aviation Medicine Society and the Dutch Association for Spaceflight. Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund.
Since 1991, Kuipers has been involved in the preparation, coordination, baseline data collection and ground control of physiological experiments developed by the European Space Agency for space missions. In particular, he was a Project Scientist for Anthrorack, a human physiology facility that flew on the D-2 Spacelab mission in 1993, and for two payloads, for lung and bone physiology, that flew on board the Mir space station during the six-month Euromir 95 mission.
He was then involved in the development of the Torque Velocity Dynamometer (TVD) that flew on the LMS Spacelab mission in 1996, the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES), a device used in muscle research on board the Space Station, and an electronic muscle stimulator (PEMS) to be used on astronauts.
In July 1999, André Kuipers joined the European Astronaut Corps of the European Space Agency, whose homebase is at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany.
As well as participating in astronaut training, members of the European Astronaut Corps are assigned to projects involved in the assembly and on-board operations of the International Space Station.
André Kuipers was assigned to the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands, continuing his former work for the Microgravity Payloads Division within the Directorate of Human Spaceflight.
In August 2009, André Kuipers was assigned to Expedition 30/31, a long-duration mission to the International Space Station. Together with Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Kuipers launched on 21 December 2011 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. During his PromISSe mission, Kuipers took part in around 50 experiments covering a wide range of disciplines. He was the prime crewmember for the rendezvous and docking of ESA’s third ATV Edoardo Amaldi. He was also involved in berthing Dragon (SpaceX) which is part of NASA’s commercial programme since the end of the Shuttle programme. Kuipers and his crewmates returned to Earth on July 1.