Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell ... musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is ... it has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be, um... smelly.
"One thing I've heard people say before, but it wasn't so obvious, was the smell right when you open up that hatch," Discovery pilot Dominic "Tony" Antonelli said after a March 21 spacewalk. "Space definitely has a smell that's different than anything else." ... "When you repressurize the airlock and get out of your suit, there is a distinct odor of ozone, a faint acrid smell," Jones told SPACE.com, adding that the smell is also similar to burnt gunpowder or the ozone smell of electrical equipment.*
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.*
Nasa has commissioned Steven Pearce, a chemist and managing director of fragrance manufacturing company Omega Ingredients, to recreate the smell of space in a laboratory. ... "We have a few clues as to what space smells like. First of all, there were interviews with astronauts that we were given, when they had been outside and then returned to the space station and were de-suiting and taking off their helmets, they all reported quite particular odours.
"For them, what comes across is a smell of fried steak, hot metal and even welding a motorbike, one of them said.*
They said it is a very unique smell. As they pulled the hatch open on the Soyuz side, I smelled “SPACE.” It was strange… kind of like burned almond cookie. I said to them, “It smells like cooking” and they both looked at me like I was crazy and exclaimed:”Cooking!”
I said, “Yes… sort of like something is burning… I don’t know it is hard to explain…” *
« Older Julia Nunes can sing. And she plays ukulele.... | Followup-filter: Previously, w... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt