AN ADORABLE young Irish boy who melted hearts when he appeared on TV to speak about his ambitions of one day working for NASA has received a heartwarming surprise from his hero, astronaut commander Chris Hadfield.
Six-year-old Adam King was one of the standout stars of this year's Late Late Toy Show, with his inspiring story going viral in the aftermath of the broadcast.
Adam was born with brittle bones but defied his condition to not only walk over to host Ryan Tubridy on the show but also outline his plans to one day work for the US space agency.
In the wake of his appearance, the Cork youngster was flooded with messages of support on social media including one from Commander Hadfield.
Eager to make good on his promise to Adam to “talk space together” the youngster got the chance to do exactly that on this week’s edition of the Late Late Show.
Hadfield was desperate to talk to Adam after being inspired by his story on the show.
He explained: "There was such a social media response, just to the type of person that he (Adam) is.
"Immediately it just lit up with 'Hey, Commander Hadfield, you have got to meet this kid?'
"And so I just responded back that I'd love to and comment on the type of person that he is, and I obviously wasn't alone in [thinking] that.
"It has been really nice to see and have a little more direct contact with Adam and his family."
He added: "We need that sort of combination of both the unstoppable curiosity but also the willingness to put in the work to back it up, it's great to see an example like Adam. "
Adam got to ask his hero if he was ever afraid at the prospect of going out into space.
Hadfield replied: "When I was six years old I was afraid because I didn't know everything that I needed to know yet, but I changed who I was, Adam, I studied and I read books and I watched movies and I talked to people who knew what they were doing, and I practiced, just like you are practicing, over and over again.
"On the day that I was going to space, I walked up and over the elevator and I lay down in the rocket on my back, even though it was a dangerous thing because I knew what I was doing, I wasn't afraid because I was ready."
The astronaut commander asked: "I understand Adam that you talk space not just with me but you talk space with your brothers and sisters as well? Where do you go on your space missions, Adam?"
Adam explained that he often explored the galaxy as part of his own imaginary missions.
"Yeah... Sometimes I go to the moon and sometimes I go to some other places, like different planets."
In a wonderful moment, Hadfield revealed he did exactly the same as a child.
He said: "I don't know if you know but I have two brothers and two sisters and when I was your age, we did the exact same thing, we dreamed about flying in space.
"The cool thing Adam is that when I got older, I got the chance to actually fly in space, three times. It's amazing what can happen in life, and I was a CAPCOM."
Speaking via video link with his dad David and his siblings, Adam said he had been blown away to the reaction that greeted his appearance on the Toy Show.
Asked by Tubridy "Who is the most famous man in Ireland?", Adam joked "me".
He also recalled the hero’s welcome he enjoyed upon his return to school after the appearance.
"We had a big party and they gave me a guard of honour when I just came back,” he said.