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Astronaut Chris Hadfield returns to Earth as five-month mission ends


Published 14/05/2013

Commander Chris Hadfield's final picture of Belfast from the International Space Station.
Commander Chris Hadfield's final picture of Belfast from the International Space Station.
A stunning image of Belfast at night taken by astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield on April 9, 2013
Photo by Chris Hadfield of Belfast
Astronaut Chris Hadfield recording the first music video from space with his cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity (AP/Nasa)
Commander Chris Hadfield

Astronaut Chris Hadfield has finally returned to Earth as his five-month mission as commander of the International Space Station ends.

The Canadian has become a global celebrity by snapping a series of astonishing images from space, giving fans incredible views from 200-plus miles above Earth.

They include snapshots of Northern Ireland, with Belfast, Londonderry, Coleraine and Newry all captured from outer space.

His last image of Belfast was posted on Sunday, with a caption quizzing followers: “Belfast, at the mouth of the River Lagan. Strangely, not the river the city was named after. Who can tell me why?”

Hadfield, who has a daughter studying at Trinity College Dublin, previously provided the first message tweeted from space in Irish — Tá Éire fíorálainn! (Ireland is exquisite).

And on St Patrick’s Day he sang Danny Boy — suitably dressed in a green jumper and bow tie.

On Sunday, as he prepared to return to Earth, Hadfield posted a video of himself performing the David Bowie classic Space Oddity while playing an acoustic guitar.

The astronaut wrote on Twitter: “With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here's Space Oddity, recorded on Station. A last glimpse of the World.”

Bowie then replied with: “Hallo Spaceboy.”

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