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Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield holds a copy of his new book "an Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth" while on a media tour Wednesday, November 27, 2013 in Montreal.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has blasted off into space. Now, he's set to blast a cannon in "The Nutcracker."

The National Ballet of Canada says the famed space explorer will make a cameo as a Cannon Doll in a performance of "The Nutcracker" on Dec. 24 in Toronto.

Every year the ballet company recruits celebrities and other personalities to perform the comical role in the holiday classic for one performance.

The ballet says this is the first time in its 63-year history an astronaut has taken on the part.

The Cannon character is that of a Russian Petrouchka doll who shoots a cannon into the audience to begin the battle scene in the first act.

Other names on this year's Cannon Doll cameo list include Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene, CBC Radio host Steve Patterson and "Royal Canadian Air Farce" comedian Craig Lauzon.

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