From Space into the Desert: The Dutch astronaut André Kuipers will start in the biggest Desert Amateurrally "Morocco Desert Challenge" from April 14-22. Kuipers was already involved in a rally from the sidelines, but he did not yet drive himself. In Morocco, the astronaut, doctor and speaker makes his debut as a rally driver.
André Kuipers the longest Western European Astronaut in Space
The 1958 born Dutchman was working in the Dutch Military and switched to the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1991. In April 2004 he started his first space-mission, flying with a Russian Sojus TMA-4 to the International Space Station (ISS). From December 2011 until Juy 2012 he was again at the ISS, with 192 days in space this was the longest space-flight of a Western-European ever.
In the Morocco Desert Challenge he will again be part an experiment: Starting inside the "Hamer Rally Team" from Apeldoorn, which is participating with two DAF trucks, two service-trucks, one race-car and one service-car, the Dutch will pilote a Toyota Land Cruiser. But there is something special: The team of Hamer-director Fons Jans will start with Biofuel - not a normal Bioful.
Race Trucks and Cars participating with bioful made of waste and enzyme bio-catalyst
The entire Hamer Rally Team will use a Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, in short HVO diesel, a synthetic diesel which is simply to say made from waste and residual flows. HVO diesel delivers huge savings in CO2 emissions, even up to 90%. But not only this: Kuipers´ Land Cruiser will drive with an addition to the HVO diesel that is called "ChangeXL". ChangeXL is based on a complex mixture of natural enzymes, also known as biocatalysts. This unique additive will optimize the combustion, reduces CO2 emissions and can produce up to 10% fuel savings.
"The developments in the field of alternative fuels and additives are going fast," said André Kuipers. "This is not customary within rallying, but the Hamer Rally Team took on this challenge. As an astronaut I have seen how vulnerable our earth is, with the wafer-thin atmosphere, deforestation and air pollution. That is why one of my goals is to make people aware of it so that they take better care of our planet. The developments in the field of alternative fuels and additives are going fast. We would like to show that this step can now be taken."
More information about Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) diesel and ChangeXL diesel can be found on the team´s website, more information about the Morocco Desert Challenge at the rally-website (both links below this article).
Photos: Hamer Rally Team, André Kuipers
MOROCCO DESERT CHALLENGE HAMER RALLY TEAM
SHARE THIS ARTICLE