After winning hearts on the Late Late Toy Show, space fan Adam King was last night given an exclusive tour of Ireland's National Space Centre.
He was filming at the Elfordstown Earthstation near Midleton in Cork to record a Christmas message against the backdrop of the NSC and the spectacularly illuminated 32-meter radio astronomy dish.
Decked out in his Late Late Christmas jumper, Adam, 6, along with his dad David, and his brothers Danny, 13 and Robert, 8, was given special access to the NSC and a guided tour by CEO Rory Fitzpatrick.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: “It was a great opportunity to talk about how satellites and ground stations like Elfordstown facilitate extra-terrestrial communication, and the different kinds of space industry careers Ireland offers.”
He added: "Right now, Danny wants to be an astronaut and Adam wants to be a CapCom, the astronaut on Earth who communicates with the crew members in their spacecraft."
The tour of the facility included a visit to the Ops Centre, housed in the distinctive round room below the big dish where the boys learned about the NSC's maritime observation, space communications and extra-terrestrial audio tracking.
They also got some hands-on action with some of the memorabilia at the NSC, including a test flight helmet from the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Adam's brother Danny celebrated his 13th birthday on the day and was gifted a custom guitar plectrum from his hero Commander Chris Hadfield who served as commander of the International Space Station from 2012 to 2013.
The boys were also gifted circuit boards saved from the 2003 upgrade of the big dish at the centre, as well as flight jackets, hats and special ice cream that the astronauts enjoy in space.
Adam and the big dish can be seen on The Cork Nativity airing on RTÉ One, Christmas Eve at 9pm.