Pop culture

Other astronauts who sent us over the moon

May 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM ET

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield comes down from the International Space Station on Tuesday, having charmed countless earthlings with his social-media skills, guitar-strumming and bold facial hair.

We hope they make a movie about him, because William H. Macy could have a ball bringing him to life on the screen.

In the meantime, here are some astronauts from the annals of pop culture who also winged their way into our heart with more, ahem, traditional attributes.

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Pictured: (l-r) Larry Hagman as Anthony 'Tony' Nelson, Barbara Eden as Jeannie.

Larry Hagman in "I Dream of Jeannie": Forget Jeannie — what female TV viewer didn't dream of Maj. Tony Nelson? Sure, he kept his emotions and his 2,000-year-old lady friend bottled up. But remember how good he looked in those dress blues? No wonder the genie spent five seasons trying to please her master.

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Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck embrace in a scene from the film 'Armageddon', 1998.

Ben Affleck in "Armageddon": Roger Ebert once described the movie as "an assault on the eyes" but surely he wasn't talking about the actor who played A.J. Frost, the core-driller drafted to save the earth from an asteroid. Heck, Bruce Willis was so smitten that he took his spot on the suicide mission so Affleck could marry his daughter.

Archive Photos / Getty Images /
Ed Harris as John Glenn in a scene from the film 'The Right Stuff', 1962.

Ed Harris in "The Right Stuff": With Dennis Quaid and Sam Shepard in the testosterone-fueled cast of the 1983 movie about the Mercury 7 astronauts, Harris has some tough-guy competition. But he stood up to the vice president and he cracked down on his philandering crew mates. Oh, and did we mention he was the first dude to orbit the earth?

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Kevin Bacon checking controls in a scene from the film 'Apollo 13', 1995.

Kevin Bacon in "Apollo 13": Another easy-on-the-eyes ensemble cast, but Ed Harris doesn't get two bites at the astronaut apple, so Bacon's Jack Swigert gets the nod. He's inexperienced and cocky and gets blamed for the accident that almost turns the crew into space junk. But he helps save the day and looks good doing it. Catch you on the flip side, Kevin.

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"The Space Cowboys

The cast of "Space Cowboys": Have four senior citizens ever looked so good in jumpsuits and bomber jackets? Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner may not have washboard abs or even all their hair in this 2000 flick, but they've got experience, courage and a lot of one-liners about getting old.

Sony Pictures Classics /
Sam Rockwell in a scene from 'Moon'.

Sam Rockwell in "Moon": It couldn't have been easy to eclipse the gorgeous sci-fi effects of this 2009 film, but somehow Rockwell managed. Nearing the end of a solo three-year stint on the lunar landscape, Rockwell's brooding character, Sam Bell, wakes up to find what appears to be a clone. Disturbing for him; double the treat for us.

NBC /
Mix Dexter is Liz Lemon's "fake, astronaut" boyfriend.

Mike Dexter from "30 Rock": We didn't get a look at Liz Lemon's imaginary man — "My boyfriend, astronaut Mike Dexter, will be picking me up. On his motorcycle" — until the fourth episode. Yet the fantasy spaceman was worth the wait. Chiseled good looks. Spiffy orange jumpsuit. And a way with words: “I hope you enjoyed the kissing followed by my genuine interest in that TV dance competition."

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