Space Grenades and Mustaches? No, a Cosmic April Fools' Day

Chris Hadfield April Fools
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield holds up two objects that look like grenades as part of an April Fools' Day prank today (April 1, 2013). (Image credit: Canadian Space Agency/Chris Hadfield (Cmdr_Hadfield))

Astronauts may take space travel seriously, but that doesn't mean they don't know how to cut loose on April Fools' Day.

Take, for example, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, the current commander of the International Space Station. Already known for posting amazing and fun photos of life in space, Hadfield snapped a photo of himself floating in weightlessness with two odd, round items he found on the space station today (April 1) and wondered, tongue definitly in cheek, just what they might be.

"Who gave the Commander 2 grenades? (okay … maybe they're just air grab sample bottles)," Hadfield wrote in a Twitter post today (April 1). The small round bottles are just routine, harmless tools for life on the space station. 

This wasn't Hadfield's only way of getting into the April Fools' Day spirit. He also played an elaborate prank involving an alien on his Twitter followers.

In fact, one of the newest crewmembers on the station — NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy — preempted April Fools' Day with his own prank. When the three astronauts already on board the International Space Station welcomed Cassidy and his two crewmates to their new home early Friday morning (March 29), the joking spaceflyer pulled out a felt mustache to match Hadfield's.

"It's great to see two Chrises on orbit," said one person on the ground during the post-hatch-opening briefing Friday. "We almost didn't recognize you with that mustache you were sporting."

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (bottom left) wears a felt mustache to match the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station (Image credit: NASA TV)

When fully staffed, the space station is home to an international crew of six astronauts. Construction began on the orbiting outpost in 1998 and was assembled by 15 countries and five different space agencies.

Hadfield and Cassidy are joined by Russian cosmonauts Roman Romanenko, Alexander Misurkin, Pavel Vinogradov and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn on board the $100 billion laboratory. Together, they make up the Expedition 35 crew.

Romanenko, Hadfield and Marshburn arrived at the space station in December and are due to return to Earth in May, with Vinogradov taking command after their departure.

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Miriam Kramer
Staff Writer

Miriam Kramer joined as a Staff Writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also served as's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. Miriam is currently a space reporter with Axios, writing the Axios Space newsletter. You can follow Miriam on Twitter.