Canadian Space Agency / Chris Hadfield (Cmdr_Hadfield)
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield seems to be having a blast as he holds up two objects that look like grenades as part of an April Fools' Day prank on Monday.
By Miriam Kramer
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 Monday and wondered, tongue definitely 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 Monday. The small round bottles are just routine, harmless tools for life on the space station.
In fact, one of the newest crew members on the station — NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy — pre-empted 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, the joking spaceflyer pulled out a felt mustache to match Hadfield's.
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (bottom left) wears a felt mustache to match Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
"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."
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.
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