Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 24 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Boy with bone disease tells TV host he wants to work for NASA

Adam King

The Late Late Show | YouTube | Fair Use

Annalisa Teggi - published on 01/10/21

“We’ll be here when he’s ready,” NASA responded.

Adam King is six years old and has his feet planted firmly on the ground — which is an odd compliment to make to a child who often dreams of flying. This Irish boy won the hearts of the public who watched him on The Late Late Toy Show on Irish network RTE on November 27.

Adam knows he can’t be an astronaut because of his disability, but he wants to work at NASA—and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration didn’t hesitate to send its enthusiastic response.

“Adam has such an infectious smile that even the darkest planet out there would light up, and everybody who he meets—he just brings the best out in people.” That’s how John Doyle, doorman at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, described Adam on the show.

Adam King has had to visit that Dublin hospital quite often because of a disability that makes his bones brittle. He can walk, but has to spend most of his time in a wheelchair.

The Late Show | Youtube

The Late Late Toy Show is an Irish TV program hosted by Ryan Tubridy that invites children on the air so they can give reviews of their favorite toys in the months leading up to Christmas. Adam was on the show as a toy tester. Indeed, with that contagious smile, Adam has apparently already received a good many toys: gifts given to him by doctors and nurses.

As mentioned above, Adam is Irish, from County Cork. If we could refer to a stereotype for a moment, I’d like to recall some verses of G.K. Chesterton about Irishmen:

For the great Gaels of Ireland Are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, And all their songs are sad. (from The Ballad of the White Horse)

To go to war full of joy is madness. Facing life’s most difficult unknowns with a smile is insane. Adam has that bold smile of an Irishman. In spite of his fragility, he says that his dream is to work at NASA.

The topic came up when the host of the Late Late Toy Show asked him if he likes outer space. He says that he does, but he can’t be an astronaut because of his brittle bones, so instead he wants to work at ground control.

The show’s host invites Adam to lead the countdown for a “toy show liftoff” (with Tubridy as the astronaut in a toy rocket). He tells the boy to count to three, but Adam corrects him: “No, this is the real countdown—it starts at 12.”

Such a strong and enthusiastic attitude didn’t leave NASA indifferent! Shortly after the show, in response to a tweet calling attention to the boy’s dream, NASA released this message:

“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.”

Chris Hadfield, a former astronaut and control station commander, invited Adam to meet him for a chat. It wasn’t an empty promise: On December 4, little Adam had a video chat with the famous Canadian.

In the meantime, Adam himself has become famous. People have painted murals of him, and have published cartoons on social networks to support his dream.

It all started with an admission that we adults find so hard to say: “I can’t do this.” By saying “I can’t be an astronaut,” Adam taught us that keeping your feet on the ground doesn’t mean having your heart on the ground. Coming to terms with a limit that cannot be overcome, being clearly aware of it, is the first step towards not locking oneself inside the cage of what is denied us.

I wish Adam would come to my control room once in a while—that space in my head that’s always teetering between anxiety and negative thoughts. When I’m wandering through the black clouds of my worries, I wish I could ask him for help by adapting the famous phrase, “Adam, we have a problem.”

It’s not good for us to be alone in our own control room, and thank God, there is a reality outside of our thoughts, in which we must be grounded. We must get it through our heads that we are not in charge.

We are surrounded by people who are not just minor parts in our daily script. Listening to the voices of those who have had a good impact on our lives, trusting the insights of people whose faith and courage have impacted us.

How many burdens lift when we admit our impotence and smallness. The ascent to heaven begins with this very push!

Read more:
SpaceX’s ‘Resilience’ commanded by astronaut who flew with Eucharist

Read more:
Adult Stem Cells Helping Teen With ‘Brittle Bone Disease’ Grow

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.