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Look who is reading Tintin on the space station

Tue 11 Jul 2023    
| 2 min read

Dubai: Famous European cartoon character Tintin has finally traveled to space, courtesy to UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi. Tintin’s fictitious exploits in the early 1950s let millions of children visualize travels to space and the Moon.

Al Neyadi, who is now completing the longest Arab space mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), posted a picture of himself reading “Explorers on the Moon,” one of the two novels that chronicled Tintin’s space explorations.

“One of the comics I read on the ISS is that of Tintin – a visionary series that was originally written in the 1950s that dreamt of space travel even before humanity took its first leap into orbit,” Al Neyadi said in his tweet on Saturday.

This was posted on his official twitter: @Astro_Alneyadi

Belgian comic strip artist Georges Prosper Remi, better known internationally under the pen name Hergé, had created the Adventures of Tintin is a series of comic books that is regarded as one of the most well-known European comics of the 20th century. 

The well-known series follows the exploits of Tintin, a young reporter and adventurer from Belgium who becomes entangled in perilous situations and resorts to heroism to rescue the day. ‘Destination Moon’ and ‘Explorers on the Moon’, two television shows, accurately predicted the first-ever human spaceflight to the Moon, which occurred some years later. In spacesuits like those used on future space exploration expeditions, Tintin and his fellow passengers—including his devoted sidekick, a dog named Snowy—travel to the Moon.

Childhood Nostalgia

Al Neyadi has previously mentioned how the space cartoons had motivated him as a child before embarking on his unprecedented six-month space journey. He had also disclosed that he was bringing little toy rockets from Tintin books to the orbital laboratory as he launched to the ISS aboard the NASA SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft on March 2.

In the image shared by Al Neyadi, Tintin is seen in a space suit against a window on the International Space Station, along with a miniature replica of the renowned red and white-striped rocket that carried him and his colleagues to the Moon.

The 42-year-old astronaut’s display of historical artifacts revealed how much he treasured his childhood ambition and its significant influence on his subsequent life.

Elon Musk and Tintin

Tintin has, it seems, inspired more than only Al Neyadi. Elon Musk, the inventor and CEO of SpaceX, was said to have drawn inspiration from the Tintin rocket for his iconic Starship rocket.

In 2019, when SpaceX changed the name of their ‘Big Falcon Rocket’ (BFR) to ‘Starship,’ Musk was quoted as saying that he enjoyed the Tintin rocket design and “wanted to bias [its design] towards that” and “if in doubt, go with Tintin.”

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