NI mission for astronaut Chris Hadfield

Published Sunday, 12 January 2014
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Famous astronaut Chris Hadfield has made a star appearance in Armagh as part of his new mission exploring some of Northern Ireland's top tourist spots.

NI mission for astronaut Chris Hadfield
Chris Hadfield pictured outside the Armagh Planetarium. (© Phil Smyth)

Former Commander Hadfield is one of the world's most popular space explorers.

He accumulated over a million followers on Twitter after posting pictures and videos from the International Space Station, his home from December 2012 to May last year.

He took dramatic photographs hundreds of miles above the Earth, including snaps of Londonderry and Belfast on St Patrick's Day.

Hadfield, who has family in the Republic of Ireland, even recorded a cover of Danny Boy and posted a snap of himself in his green bowtie.

He received the Lord Mayor of Dublin award last year in recognition of his contribution.

Now he and his wife Helene have taken to exploration of a different kind, as a tourist to promote the island.

On Thursday, he told his followers he was "happily headed to Dublin and Belfast" and "hoping to learn a cúpla focals".

On Sunday, a sold out audience at Armagh planetarium greeted the Canadian to hear him discuss life in space and share some stories from his first book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.

Director Tom Mason said they were "delighted" and "very excited" to have him touch down at the venue.

"Chris has raised public awareness of Space and has inspired so many of us with unique insight into life aboard the International Space Station," he commented.

During his tour, he will visit Londonderry, Belfast, Cushendall and the Glens of Antrim.

© UTV News
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