What Does Space Smell Like?
What is the smell clinging to an astronaut after a spacewalk? Some have described it
as an acrid aroma — others say it reminds them of seared steak. After a
2003 mission, astronaut Don Pettit attempted to be a little more
The best description I can come up with is metallic; a
rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation. It reminded me of my college
summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch
repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit. It reminded me of
pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes. That is the smell of space.
NASA hired chemist Steven Pearce to recreate the odor here on earth.
With his help astronauts-in-training get a little taste — or sniff — of
what’s to come after liftoff.
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