Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Smell of Space

  1. Oct 23, 2008 #1
    This is just weird, and probably has a good explanation.. But how can a space suit or space have a distinct smell? Could the smell be coming from particles off their space suits? If so, how/why?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2008 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What were they working on outside? It could be whatever residue might be on the parts of the space station they were working on that rubbed off on their suits.
  4. Oct 23, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Probbaly plasticisors and cleaning residue outgassing from the suits.

    The skylab astronauts mentioned one of the disorientating things was missing the smell of anything - the air cleaning system so efficently removed any chemical residue from the air.
    They said they opened the lemon cleaning wipes that came with the food just to have something to smell.
  5. Oct 25, 2008 #4
  6. Oct 25, 2008 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    He said that it smelled similar to using an arc welder, so I would guess that it is probably the smell of ions and such deposited on the suit. Maybe some of that is ozone, but I would guess that a lot of it is lighter particles.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: The Smell of Space
  1. New smells (Replies: 32)

  2. Blood smell (Replies: 12)

  3. Yeesh! I smell funny (Replies: 35)

  4. Ah, that new car smell! (Replies: 12)