A six-year-old Irish boy who captured the hearts of TV viewers when he shared his dreams of joining a space mission has now captured the attention of Nasa.
Adam King appeared on Ireland’s The Late, Late Toy Show on Friday where he spoke of his hope of working for Mission Control when he grows up.
The disabled schoolboy got messages of support from high-profile astronauts and US and European space agencies.
Nasa tweeted “we can’t wait for him to one day join our team of dreamers”.
Adam was among several very young guests who appeared on the special Christmas addition of Ireland’s longest-running TV show.
RTÉ’s The Late, Late Toy Show is an annual tradition in many Irish households, where children are invited to test out the latest toys and gadgets and give their, often very honest, reviews.
Toy tester Adam, from County Cork, became the star of this year’s show when he talked about his sky-high career ambitions.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?,” asked host Ryan Tubridy.
“Capcom in Nasa,” Adam replied.
The acronym refers to the role of a spacecraft communicator who provides a communications link between flight control and astronauts.
“Would you have liked to have been an astronaut at some stage?” the host inquired.
“Well I can’t be an astronaut because I have brittle bones,” Adam explained, adding that he hoped to work with ground control instead.
Adam then demonstrated his skills by giving instructions as the host prepared to launch himself into space in a specially-made cardboard rocket.
When Tubridy asked his young guest to count to three to test the microphone, he was quickly corrected.
“No, this is the real countdown – it starts at 12,” Adam insisted.
Clips of the show were widely shared on social media and reached Nasa, who tweeted: “Adam’s kind heart and adventurous spirit inspires us.
“There’s space for everybody at NASA, and we can’t wait for him to one day join our team of dreamers. We’ll be here when he’s ready.”
His star performance also reached the likes of Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield.
“Adam – I’ve been lucky enough to CAPCOM many spaceflights. We should talk space together,” Mr Hadfield tweeted.
British astronaut Tim Peake described Adam as a “superstar”, adding the child was “warming hearts when we need it most”.
Tagging his message to the European Space Agency, Mr Peake added: “We need to get you into Mission Control.”
US astronaut Shane Kimbrough invited the Irish boy to the Johnson Space Center.
“Adam – so inspired by you! Can’t wait to meet you one day. Hope to see you at @NASA_Johnson soon!” he tweeted.
Adam is a former patient at Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin, and during the show he was reunited with hospital porter John Doyle.
“Adam has such an infectious smile that even the darkest planet out there would light up,” Mr Doyle said,
“And everybody who he meets, he just brings the best out in people – he is just unbelievable.”