Astronaut Cmdr Chris Hadfield tweets his Wakefield links back to Earth

West Yorkshire from space. Photograph courtesy of NASA.
West Yorkshire from space. Photograph courtesy of NASA.
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An astronaut who has used social media to bring space closer to us than ever before tweeted he has family roots in the Wakefield area.

Cmdr Chris Hadfield has tweeted stunning photographs of West Yorkshire from the International Space Station (ISS), where he has been staying for the past five months.

Photograph official portrait of Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield in EMU suit.  Photo Date: July 19, 2011.  Location: Building 8, Room 183 - Photo Studio.  Photographer: Robert Markowitz

Photograph official portrait of Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield in EMU suit. Photo Date: July 19, 2011. Location: Building 8, Room 183 - Photo Studio. Photographer: Robert Markowitz

And the Canadian astronaut, who returns to Earth today, also tweeted that he had relatives living in this area about 100 years ago.

In a message to another user, he said: “Good Morning, Lesley! My family is from your area, Sheffield and Wakefield.

“Great-granddad Austin Hadfield moved to Canada ~1908.”

The photograph above shows West Yorkshire’s biggest towns and cities.

Wakefield can be seen just right of the centre, with Leeds above and to the left.

It is one of hundreds of photographs of the Earth from the space that Cmdr Hadfield has shared during his mission.

He was sent to the ISS with a crew of five others, to ensure that the station runs smoothly and stays in the correct orbit.

But his activity on Twitter, through which he has posted videos of himself washing his hands and making sandwiches in zero-gravity conditions, has earned him celebrity status around the world.

In a moving farewell gesture, Cmdr Hadfield recorded a music video of himself performing David Bowie’s Space Oddity on board the space station.

At one point he sings “And I’m floating in a most peculiar way” while actually floating in mid-air.

To watch the video, which is quickly becoming an internet sensation, click here