Cmdr Hadfield touches down in Scotland to refuel

Cmdr Chris Hadfield speaks on the phone shortly after the Soyuz space capsule landed in Kazakhstan. Picture: AP
Cmdr Chris Hadfield speaks on the phone shortly after the Soyuz space capsule landed in Kazakhstan. Picture: AP
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COMMANDER Chris Hadfield, who today returned to Earth after a 144-day stint on board the International Space Station, landed in Prestwick this afternoon to refuel.

The astronaut - the first Canadian to walk in space - landed in Kazakhstan early on Tuesday in the Soyuz space capsule, along with fellow astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Roman Romanenko, from the United States and Russia respectively.

Cmdr Hadfield's picture showing Prestwick. Picture: Complimentary

Cmdr Hadfield's picture showing Prestwick. Picture: Complimentary

Cmdr Hadfield gained a large following on Twitter after posting pictures of the world from space, including several of Scotland.

The 53-year-old, who also has the distinction of being the first Canadian to live aboard the space stataion and pilot a spacecraft, ended his command of the space station on Sunday, posting a video cover of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’.

Cmdr Hadfield tweeted: “On the ground in Prestwick, Scotland, to refuel. Blue sky day, Nature smiling on us. Was 1st here in 1977 - who could have predicted this?”

The message was retweeted over 700 times by other users of the social media site.

First Minister Alex Salmond tweeted the astronaut shortly after, saying: “Scotland welcomes you back to earth @Cmdr_Hadfield Glad you’re getting a closer look after the wonderful pics from space!”

Many Twitter users also recalled Elvis landing at the Ayrshire airport in 1960 - believed by many to be the only time the musician ever set foot in the UK.