Hans Bottema, partner and team leader is very enthusiastic about this series of articles:
"This year on 21 July it is 50 years ago that I, a sound asleep five year old, was woken up by my mother in the middle of the night. It must have been about 2:30 a.m. and my mother and father set me in front of our black and white television on which noisy images and static voices spoke quite incomprehensible things. It is only later that I came to realize that I had witnessed a historic moment and that the small steps I took to come out of bed, were made to witness the giant leap for mankind. The picture below shows Neil Armstrong reflected in the visor of Buzz Aldrin after stepping out of the Eagle lunar module.
I did not realize at the time that in the next 50 years to come, I would come into contact with outer space on several moments in my life. The first moment was in 1981 at the age of 17, being in school with my Canadian schoolmate Julie Payette, sitting in the back row of our science class. During one lengthy lesson, she stated that she would like to go into outer space, and we made a bet that if that were true, I would come and visit. On May 27, 1999 I sat on a front row seat at Kennedy Space Center at sun rise to see her take off in the space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-96.
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Many years later, having worked at Philips Electronics and Procter & Gamble, I became a patent attorney and partner at NLO. In celebration of the 125th anniversary of our intellectual property firm, we invited André Kuipers, our national Dutch astronaut who flew on missions to the international space station ISS in 2004 and 2011. André gave a first-hand amazing account of his incredible experience of seeing the sun set and rise sixteen times every day while orbiting earth.
I did not end up in outer space myself, but made it my daily job to explore a galaxy of new ideas, which nearly amounts to the same experience. As a patent attorney I have the privilege to meet with brilliant and creative inventors that allow me to get a sneak preview of the future when they think up innovations of which the consequences on our lives only become apparent many years later.
My colleagues and I have reported on inventions that have originated from space travel and that impact on our daily lives."
Read the articles below: