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Monday, September 07, 2009

What's that Smell ?? Whiff of Vacuum ??

Today -- ‘Smell of space’ strong, metallic and unique, say NASA astronauts
September 7th, 2009 [HERE]

Washington, September 7 (ANI): NASA astronauts aboard the US space shuttle Discovery have said that the smell of space, which is regarded as the final frontier, is strong, metallic and unique.

“There is one smell up here that is really unique though and that is the smell, we just call it ‘the smell of space’,” said NASA engineer and astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, who is on board US space shuttle Discovery.

“I haven’t had a chance to do a spacewalk yet, but when the other guys did and they came back in, there’s this really, really strong metallic smell,” he added.

For rookie astronaut Kevin Ford, Discovery’s pilot, both the sounds and smells of space have surprised him.

“It’s like something I haven’t ever smelled before, but I’ll never forget it,” he said. “You know how those things stick with you,” he added.

Chamitoff and Ford are among 13 astronauts on board the International Space Station and US space shuttle Discovery.

2009 -- Space Smells Funny, Astronauts Say
By Tariq Malik, Senior Editor
posted: 27 March 2009

Like ozone, or gunpowder

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who launched to the station aboard Discovery and stayed behind when it left to join the outpost's crew, said he also could smell the odd odor that wafted in from outside the station. But both Antonelli and Wakata, who helped Discovery's spacewalkers climb in and out of their spacesuits, could not put words to the distinctive out-of-this-world scent.

Former NASA astronaut Thomas Jones, a veteran of three spacewalks before retiring from spaceflying in 2001, thinks the odor could stem from atomic oxygen that clings to spacesuit fabric.

"When you repressurize the airlock and get out of your suit, there is a distinct odor of ozone, a faint acrid smell," Jones told, adding that the smell is also similar to burnt gunpowder or the ozone smell of electrical equipment. "It's not noticeable inside the suit. The suit smells like plastic inside."

The smell, he adds, only occurs on a shuttle or the space station after a spacewalk and is unmistakable to astronauts working with the spacesuits and equipment that was used in the vacuum of space.

"In those tight spaces, your nose gets right next to the fabric," Jones said. "I like to think of it as getting a whiff of vacuum!"

2002 -- Spacewalkers describe smoky, bitter 'smell of space'
Friday, November 8, 2002
[Article HERE]
WHITSON: Flying in space here is phenomenal. It's amazing just to feel your body adapt to floating around in zero (gravity). But it was really, truly amazing to me to do a spacewalk, especially at the end of the (station's robotic arm) as Valery was swinging me around.

I really just feel like what a bird must feel like flying. I felt out there alone, and it was just so beautiful watching the Earth go by.

O'BRIEN: You didn't get that sensation of falling that some people have reported?

WHITSON: No, not at all. In fact, everybody told me that I was giggling. So they realized that I was having a good time.

O'BRIEN: One of the things I've never heard anyone describe was the smell of space. And this is in reference to when you (Whitson) brought in your suit from a spacewalk and (it) had a very distinct smell. I mean, we're talking about the vacuum of space, and yet it has an odor. Describe it for us.

WHITSON: Some people call it kind of ozone-like. I wasn't sure what ozone was supposed to smell like, but it's kind of smoky and a little harsh, bitter-smelling. And it lasts variable amounts of time. I noticed that it didn't last as long in the docking compartment after we had done three (spacwalks) out of the air lock here. But it's really interesting because it's very distinctive.

O'BRIEN: I don't think a lot of people know what ozone smells like. Is there another way to describe it? You described it in a letter (on a NASA Web site) as almost a burn smell. It's just very interesting, I think, to those of us down on Earth.

WHITSON: Korzun said it's kind of like a smell from a gun, right after you fire the shot. I think it kind of has almost a bitter kind of smell in addition to being smoky and burned.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, What's that Smell
Allen Collins - Ronnie VanZant

Whiskey bottles, and brand new cars
Oak tree you're in my way
There's too much coke and too much smoke
Look what's going on inside you
Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

Angel of darkness is upon you
Stuck a needle in your arm
So take another toke, have a blow for your nose
One more drink fool, will drown you

Now they call you Prince Charming
Can't speak a word when you're full of 'ludes
Say you'll be all right come tomorrow
But tomorrow might not be here for you

Hey, you're a fool you
Stick them needles in your arm
I know I been there before

One little problem that confronts you
Got a monkey on your back
Just one more fix, Lord might do the trick
One hell of a price for you to get your kicks

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