British chemist to recreate the smell of outer space

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

At the request of NASA, a British chemist has begun to recreate the smell of outer space to help astronauts in their training.

If you’ve ever had the urge to know what space smells like, you can now find out -fried steak, hot metal and welding a motorbike.   Mix them all together and you now have a good idea what Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and company snorted when they went into space.

Now chemist Steven Pearce has been commissioned to recreate that smell to help trainees get used to the odor before they take off into the galaxy.    He hopes to have it ready by the end of the year.

‘We have already produced the smell of fried steak, but hot metal is proving more difficult. We think it’s a high energy vibration in the molecule and that’s what we’re trying to add to it now.’

Advertisement





6 Responses to British chemist to recreate the smell of outer space

  1. I've read quite a few science fiction books, and I don't think the smell of outer space was ever mentioned. Alas, those short-sighted authors.

    I suppose we'll be seeing this show up as deodorant and room freshener options before long… ;)

  2. I’ve read quite a few science fiction books, and I don’t think the smell of outer space was ever mentioned. Alas, those short-sighted authors.

    I suppose we’ll be seeing this show up as deodorant and room freshener options before long… ;)

  3. I'm assuming the smell is the air recirculator in use, considering if they cracked a vacuum seal, I don't think they would be able to tell us what space smelled like

    • yeah I have to admit that thought DID go through my head when I was reading the article! I thought "if they are in a sealed outfit with a helmet on, how can they smell space?".

      But I figured I was just being stupid and missing something blatantly obvious! :-)

  4. I’m assuming the smell is the air recirculator in use, considering if they cracked a vacuum seal, I don’t think they would be able to tell us what space smelled like

    • yeah I have to admit that thought DID go through my head when I was reading the article! I thought “if they are in a sealed outfit with a helmet on, how can they smell space?”.

      But I figured I was just being stupid and missing something blatantly obvious! :-)