NASA creates the Smell of Space

Vor fünf Jahren hatte ich schonmal über Astronaut Don Pettits Space-Tagebuch gebloggt und seinem Eintrag darin zum Geruch des Weltraums:

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.

Jetzt hat die NASA einen Chemiker für Duftstoffe angeheuert, der ihnen ‘ne Flasche Space Parfum mixen soll. Der Mann hatte vorher für eine Kunstinstallation den Geruch der MIR nachgebaut, inklusive Schweißfüßen und Wodka.

The agency has hired the scent chemist Steve Pearce to recreate space stench, as much as possible, here on earth.

Pearce came to NASA’s attention after he recreated, for an art installation on “Impossible Smells,” the scents of the Mir space station. (This was, he notes, a feat made more complicated by the fact that cosmonauts tend to bring vodka with them into space — which affects not only the scent of their breath, but also that of their perspiration.) The result of Pearce’s efforts? “Just imagine sweaty feet and stale body odor, mix that odor with nail polish remover and gasoline … then you get close!”

What Space Smells Like (via The Verge)