Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sniff Sniff.


The smell of space is (according to NASA scientists) unusually redolent, somewhere between a steak joint and an auto body shop. Personally, I think smell is the strangest of the senses. While I enjoy inhaling the scent of a rose as much as the next person, my olfactory system is also fond of gasoline. Weird.

In an attempt to develop acutely realistic training environments for astronauts, NASA has embarked on a smelly mission, by hiring Steven Pearce, a "nose chemist" to recreate the smell of space in a laboratory. Pearce is also the managing director of Omega Ingredients, a fragrance manufacturing company.

Interviewed astronauts say the smell of space is similar to fried steak and hot metal, and the welding of a motorbike. Currently, Pearce has managed to recreate the smell of fried steak and is working on the more difficult hot metal.

If all goes well the final space smell should be complete by the end of the year.

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