By Evelyn Grunau - The year 2009 witnessed the birth of TEDxAmsterdam. During its first edition at the Royal Tropical Institute the physicist, Professor of Aerospace, Sustainable Engineering, and Technology at the University of Delft, and the “original Dutch astronaut” Wubbo Ockels took the stage to talk about the concept of time. He explained that time has been created by us humans, since it is the only way our brains can make sense of gravity. If we would be open to taking a step back from our chronocentric view of the universe, we would be able to discover extraterrestrial life in our galaxy.
A visionary astronaut
Born in 1946 in Almelo, Wubbo Ockels grew up and studied in Groningen. His career in space aviation began with a newspaper ad in 1977 looking for an astronaut for the European space lab. He was selected out of more than 2000 applicants and went into space for seven days as the first Dutch person ever:
“The earth is passing by and the most fundamental feeling is to know that you belong there and not in space. You are literally disconnected from your roots, which is flabbergasting and scary at the same time.”
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