I Love the Smell of Space in the Morning. . .

It smells like steak and hot metal!

Robot probes are cool and all, but they still ain’t got a nose.

Apparently it’s not the smell of space, but the smell of an in-use space capsule, which isn’t nearly as romantic-sounding. It’s a small, enclosed space inhabited by several people doing everything they do over a long period of time, with no way to vent it. You’d think it would have the same ambience as a submarine. Or a small car after a Road Trip. Lots of sweat, various body odors, the smell of cooked food, and add in random fuel smells and industrial smells from ongoing experiments.

Yeah, I could believe the fried steak, hot metal, and welding part. I guess they’re too polite to mention the sweat sink and farting. But you’d think this would be easy to duiplicate – stick a couple of guys in an enclosed metal space and have them east and do experiments there, and I’ll bet you get the same smells.

By way of comparison, I note a common observation among people who work with vacuum – the inside of high vacuum systems stink. You wouldn’t think they would – after all , they’ve had anything that would be adsorbed onto it pulled off. The vacuum would make anything that stuck to the walls eventually diffuse off. The inside of a vacuum system, after you let clean dry air or dry nitrogen, shouldn’t smell like anything.

But it does. It stinks. Damned if I know why.