Retired NASA astronaut Leland Melvin’s official photo features his two dogs, Jake and Scout.
Twitter

Retired NASA astronaut Leland Melvin became an instant hit on social media earlier this week after a photo of him and dogs went viral, according to ABC News.

Melvin, who retired from NASA last February, according to the space agency, appears in the traditional orange spacesuit worn by astronauts in their official photos, posing alongside his two dogs, Jake and Scout. He tweeted that he smuggled the dogs into NASA for the shoot.

The undated photo of Melvin, 50, was tweeted Wednesday by Adam Aton, a newspaper reporter in Missouri, and has garnered nearly 3,000 retweets and favorites.

https://twitter.com/Astro_Flow/status/560573247587377152

Melvin, 50, won praise earlier for the photo, and he replied with a tweet with another image of the dogs sitting quietly beside him.

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Melvin, a veteran of two space flights, was selected by NASA in 1998. Today he hosts a Lifetime series called Child Genius and goes by the Twitter handle @Astro_Flow.

Read more at ABC News.