ASTRONAUT Chris Hadfield has announced he will hang up his spacesuit next month.
Hadfield (53) became a household name during his recent five months circling the earth in the International Space Station (ISS) broadcasting images of cities, including Dublin.
Showing his love of all things Irish, Canadian Hadfield sent the first ever tweet in Irish from space – a photo of Dublin with the caption: "Ta Eire fioralainn! Land of green hills and dark beer. With capital Dublin glowing in the Irish night."
The commander of Expedition 35 on the International Space Station also tweeted pictures of himself wearing the green and wishing everyone a happy St Patrick's Day.
The retirement means that Hadfield will finally return to Canadian soil. He has been living in the US since his days as a fighter pilot in the 1980s.
"I'll be making good on a promise I made my wife nearly 30 years ago – that yes, eventually, we would be moving back to Canada," Hadfield said.
"I've had such an interesting career and after 35 years it's time to step down. I'm the last astronaut of my class that's still around.
"It's rare to be an astronaut for more than 20 years."
Hadfield's daughter Kristen is a student in Trinity College. Last month she accepted an award recognising his special contribution to Dublin and its citizens from the Lord Mayor on his behalf.
Hadfield announced his decision to retire from the Canadian Space Agency after more than 35 years as an astronaut during an event near Montreal.
He told reporters he didn't know what he would do next, but was giving himself some time to think about it and to take a much-needed break with his family.
The astronaut has previously spoken of his desire to visit Ireland at some stage this year.