It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Moondust smells like gunpowder???

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 04:19 AM

When the astronauts took off their helmets inside the LM after their moonwalk, they noticed a strong odor. Neil described it as “wet ashes in a fireplace” and Buzz as “spent gunpowder”. It was the smell of moondust. NASA, by the way, had been worried that moondust might explode on contact with oxygen.

What a fascinating detail!

Anyone have any idea what composition of dust would smell that way?

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 05:59 PM
well most things that are burnt have carbon in, gunpowder is a mix of sulphur, potassium nitrate and charcoal and burns to produce potassium carbonate and sulphate etc...

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 06:23 PM
I tend to think that after spending some time in the tiny environment of the suit, that upon returning to the relatively spacious LEM, they noticed subtle traces of their comrade's funk. Space food stick and Tang farts.

Descriptions of the smell of Moon dust vary, though. Most agree that it doesn't have much if any smell at all.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 06:37 PM
Just a friendly NASA link on the moondust aromatics:

Apollo Chronicles: The Mysterious Smell of Moondust



[edit on 31-1-2008 by V Kaminski]

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 08:14 PM
That is a great link, thanks so much!

I love this bit:

ISS astronaut Don Pettit, who has never been to the moon but has an interest in space smells, offers one possibility:

"Picture yourself in a desert on Earth," he says. "What do you smell? Nothing, until it rains. The air is suddenly filled with sweet, peaty odors." Water evaporating from the ground carries molecules to your nose that have been trapped in dry soil for months.

Maybe something similar happens on the moon.

"The moon is like a 4-billion-year-old desert," he says. "It's incredibly dry. When moondust comes in contact with moist air in a lunar module, you get the 'desert rain' effect--and some lovely odors." (For the record, he counts gunpowder as a lovely odor.)

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 08:33 PM
I thought they faked the whole moon landing and all?

Oh well.

Thanks for the insight on this anyway.

[edit on 31-1-2008 by TheoOne]

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 08:54 PM
Hmmm. Here's an idea. Buzz and Neil (if they were there - I believe they were) track in some dust on their suits into the LEM on the morning of July 21 1969.

The moon dust in a low pressure environment like the Moon would be dry-dry. OK? So, the masons close the hatch and go for repress to 4.8PSI.

The LEM was an oxygen-rich environment that had water vapor added to it for humidity purposes (ask a nurse or MD) anyway a NASA doc on Apollo Era ECS and some pics and links to the hardware.

So we have Oh-Two and water in the LEM atmosphere and our dry finely particulated moondust.

What does Oh-Two do? It oxidizes, and the moondust being so dry would have absorbed some of the cabin and respiration and body sweat and maybe whiz-smell moisture and the oxygen in the mixture would serve to react with the moondust and a "flinty" odor was produced. Just a guess.


posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:43 PM

Originally posted by Nohup
they noticed subtle traces of their comrade's funk. Space food stick and Tang farts.

Tang farts are FOWL man... lolol

I would imagine it has a somewhat burnt smell to it.... though I bet the B.O
was powerful too...

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:55 PM
reply to post by DogHead

Did you find this link from some of the links I gave out earlier??? If not this is yet again quite the syncronicity.

top topics


log in