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  1. #1

    Default The Smell of Space

    From http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/...ronicles4.html

    The Smell of Space
    Few people have experienced traveling into space. Even fewer have experienced the smell of space. Now this sounds strange, that a vacuum could have a smell and that a human being could live to smell that smell. It seems about as improbable as listening to sounds in space, yet space has a definite smell. Being creatures of an atmosphere, we can only smell space indirectly. Sort of like the way a pit viper smells by waving its tongue in the air and thenpressing it to the roof of its mouth where sensors process the molecules that have been adsorbed onto the waggling appendage. I had the pleasure of operating the airlock for two of my crewmates while they went on several space walks. Each time, when I repressed the airlock, opened the hatch and welcomed two tired workers inside, a peculiar odor tickled my olfactory senses. At first I couldn't quite place it. It must have come from the air ducts that re-pressed the compartment. Then I noticed that this smell was on their suit, helmet, gloves, and tools. It was more pronounced on fabrics than on metal or plastic surfaces. It is hard to describe this smell; it is definitely not the olfactory equivalent to describing the palette sensations of some new food as "tastes like chicken." 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.
    How long before we see a fragrance having "space smell"?
    Last edited by Mostapha; 11th February 2008 at 12:49 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Thanks for the link, great stuff!
    [font=verdana][url=http://del.icio.us/scentedpages][b]my bookmarks on del.icio.us[/b][/url][/font]
    [font=verdana][url=http://www.nstperfume.com/perfume-books/][b]my book reviews on NST[/b][/url][/font]
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Wow! Thats neat.

    I had also heard the inside of the Mir Space Station was rather rank with BO/locker room.

    "This looks like a job for Comme des Garcons!"
    ===
    “… [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me naïve, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross.” ~ David Sedaris

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    As a fan of NASA and the whole space program...I would love to sample a "space" scent...
    I can only imagine.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    That's incredible! Thanks for the link. The first scent that came to my mind while reading was Acier Aluminum. I would love to know exactly what it really smells like.

    I agree with Bromo, though--this certainly looks like a job for CdG.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Wow, that's super cool. More smell on fabrics that come through the air lock. I love it.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Very interesting article - thanks for sharing
    "Perfume is the dream that carries me."

    There is always the sky to look at

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    I wonder how hard it would be for BN to try to hire someone to concoct such a scent? I am looking at International Flavors and Fragrances website ...

    Hmmmm ......
    Last edited by Bromo33333; 11th February 2008 at 04:38 PM.
    ===
    “… [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me naïve, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross.” ~ David Sedaris

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Fantastic stuff, thanks for posting.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  10. #10
    Off-Scenter
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    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    The smell of space? Joop! In space no one can hear you scream.
    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 11th February 2008 at 05:20 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    The ISS orbits in the upper ionosphere which is not really "empty" space yet. It is full of negative ions. I imagine the smell would be similar to an ionic/ozonic smell like that which accumulates around high-voltage apparatuses (the author mentions arc welding). I have smelled this smell around ion generators, new electronic circuit boards and other electronic components, and some fresh-out-of-the-box plastic products. I think a few of the typical ozonic/aquatic frags would come close.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Tangentially related-

    I’m too new to frags to pick out most notes, so I make do with random free associations. The other day I took Dreamer for a test drive, and “the emptiness of space” was totally the phrase that popped into my head. That and “parked in an automatic car wash, listening to Bowie’s Space Oddity.”

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    sweet metalic hmmm.. that reminds me of Blue Jeans??? ... well thanks for the article Mostapha

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Great article.

    I agree with you guys, this smell sounds exactly like something CdG has already attempted or could attempt.
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Its definitely something that should try to be re-created for the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum - it would be a great addition to the exhibit - a room where you can walk in and "smell" space.

    Thanks for the article.

    The author uses the word "sweet" which really caught me by surprise, I dont' know why...
    "To be irreplaceable, one must always be different!" - Coco Chanel

    visit: WWW.SNIFFAPALOOZAMAGAZINE.COM

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Quote Originally Posted by Bromo33333 View Post
    I wonder how hard it would be for BN to try to hire someone to concoct such a scent? I am looking at International Flavors and Fragrances website ...

    Hmmmm ......
    Somehow the perfumer would first need to experience the odor him/herself, I would think. And what would it be called? Star Trek No. 5?

    When I read the first couple of sentences in the article, I thought, "What a load of bunk!", but the more I read the more I started to think of possible ways that space could have a smell. More precisely, I imagine that microparticles in space (which isn't a perfect vacuum) adhere to surfaces and then are wafted up into the astronauts' noses by air currents in the space station. The particles are probably mostly metals and ores blasted off of moons and planets by meteor impacts, and by comets traversing the earth's path. It might also have a more terrestrial origin - exhaust from the space station itself. I wonder if NASA knows what it is? Seems like something they'd be very interested in, especially since astronauts are being exposed to it.
    Last edited by Snafoo; 12th February 2008 at 06:11 PM.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    hmmm I want a perfume that wouls smell exactly like that!!!
    Read my perfume reviews at: http://perfumenoparatodos.blogspot.com/

    Digital art portfolio: www.dreamlandpostcards.com

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas V View Post
    That's incredible! Thanks for the link. The first scent that came to my mind while reading was Acier Aluminum. I would love to know exactly what it really smells like.

    I agree with Bromo, though--this certainly looks like a job for CdG.

    Wouldn't that be Space-ier Aluminum?

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Smell of Space

    Quote Originally Posted by Snafoo View Post
    Somehow the perfumer would first need to experience the odor him/herself, I would think. And what would it be called? Star Trek No. 5?

    When I read the first couple of sentences in the article, I thought, "What a load of bunk!", but the more I read the more I started to think of possible ways that space could have a smell. More precisely, I imagine that microparticles in space (which isn't a perfect vacuum) adhere to surfaces and then are wafted up into the astronauts' noses by air currents in the space station. The particles are probably mostly metals and ores blasted off of moons and planets by meteor impacts, and by comets traversing the earth's path. It might also have a more terrestrial origin - exhaust from the space station itself. I wonder if NASA knows what it is? Seems like something they'd be very interested in, especially since astronauts are being exposed to it.
    YEs - it really sounds like the smell of ions - I have an electrostatic air cleaner, and when it has been freshly cleaned, for about 10-2 days the house gets a sweet ion smell. I am wondering if charged particles of nickel, iron, rocks, silicon embedded in nylon and plastic would be the primary smell.
    ===
    “… [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me naïve, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross.” ~ David Sedaris

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