Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield stars in Tourism Ireland ads

Retired Canadian astronaut is Tourism Ireland's newest ambassador. (Courtesy Tourism Ireland)

Retired Canadian astronaut is Tourism Ireland's newest ambassador. (Courtesy Tourism Ireland)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

Tourism Ireland has tapped retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield to promote the 'Emerald Isle' in a series of promotional online videos which launched this week.

It sounds like an odd choice for appointments, but Hadfield became the darling of Ireland last year when he tweeted photos of the country on St. Patrick's Day during his final mission in space.

Hadfield also became a household name last year after his YouTube performance of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" aboard the International Space Station went viral.

The Irish tourism office is hoping the spaceman's continued global popularity -- he has 1.08 million Twitter followers and is an active twitter user -- will help to bring increased exposure and make the country top of mind.

The four videos were shot last year when Hadfield made a visit to the country and will be promoted around the world.

"An Astronaut's Guide to the Island of Ireland" features the Wild Atlantic Way, one of the world's longest coastal drives that stretches for 2,500 km and also follows Hadfield as he tours attractions like the Titanic Belfast and Guinness Storehouse.

Hadfield is no stranger to Ireland, having made several visits before. His daughter is studying at Dublin's Trinity College.

"Chris Hadfield is one of the few people on earth who has seen Ireland from space, and on the ground," said Leo Varadkar, minister for transport, tourism and sport.

"These are four great films which I'm certain will persuade people from around the world to pay their own visit to Ireland. We're delighted that Chris had such a good time during his stay and hopefully he'll be back for another visit in the near future."

Meanwhile, National Geographic Channel is also offering web users an astronaut's view of Earth through its "Live From Space" which is connected to the International Space Station and follows the satellite's trip around the planet every 90 minutes, revealing popular viral videos, music and news stories from whichever country the satellite is above at the time.

Watch the first of four Discover Ireland Astronaut's Guide videos at http://bit.ly/1gxvTue.


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