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Space smells like a burned almond cookie?

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posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 12:07 PM
Space tourist Anousheh Ansari's blog states that space smells like a burned almond cookie. How can she know what space smells like? Is she hanging her head out the window like a dog? Is there REALLY breathable air in space?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — She says space smells like a "burned almond cookie." She praises the wonders of Velcro, and describes the hazards of trying to wash her hair in zero gravity.

Space tourist Anousheh Ansari's blog offers uncommon insight into everyday life on the international space station through the eyes of an American businesswoman.


posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 12:10 PM
Lol, if she got outside and actualy breathed in space, she'd be dead now.

She prolly ment the space station, which I can believe, its not like you can clean with water in zero G.

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 01:00 PM
They did have some trouble with some toxic emissions the previous week with a burnt seal on the Elektron air device... and there is slightly more ozone on board ISS owing to the electronics and motors (a kind of "flinty" smell). Ever smelled "burnt" or hot electronics - they out-gas a little and VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) are a concern so are micro-organisms. NASA has a link for those who wish to explore further here

The photo of the "fungus-like" stuff is grotty. I'm glad NASA/RSA do look after this pretty closely.

On a much lighter note JSC and Russian trained Space Participant Ansari was presented with a rather unusual gift upon landing - Roses and lingerie. Is that a first?

Glad there're back safely,

Victor K.

[edit on 29-9-2006 by V Kaminski]

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 02:23 PM
Yeah burnt electrical stuff smells like ozone which has a sharp sweet/metallic smell to it, for some reason cordite reminds me of ozone a little.

Sniff oldschool train sets or any small electric motor-they smell of ozone a lot of the time.

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 02:45 PM
Is NASA in the space-tourist biz by default? Apparently Space Participant Ansari did train in Texas at Johnson Space Center. I guess in the dry-land ISS mock-ups? Who pays for that? Does NASA take a "cut" as compensation? Or is the good PR worth the price and perhaps more? How does that work? Is it sorta-barter for Soyuz-TMA up-hill/down-hill services?

How must some Astronauts/Cosmonauts who have been working for nearly a decade "waiting" for their turn feel to know that the queue can be jumped for a price?

Victor K.

[edit on 29-9-2006 by V Kaminski]

posted on Oct, 15 2006 @ 01:11 PM
it must be the space station she's on. Space doesn't smell of anything, it CAN'T smell of anything. for nasal receptors to work, there has to be particles there for them to take in and analyse.

its a little like a lock and key mechanism. In Space, there aren't enough particles for your nose to pick up on. basically like there's no lock for the key.

so no smell, and no air so she'd try and breathe in and it's like trying to breathe and holding your breath at the same time. just get a tug in ur chest. hope this could clear things up a bit!

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 10:53 AM
I goto note 1 thing about this, one of the things other then actual Almond Cookies that smells like almonds is Cyanide Gas.

Them guys got a bit of a dangerous leak up there or something?

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 11:14 AM
..... She smelled this aboard the ISS? Not good.....

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 11:51 AM
"Burnt Almonds" is how people describe the scent of cyanide gas. That doesn't sound too good.

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 01:13 PM
There may be another explanation that involves cyanide but not the way one might at first think.

Ms. Ansari was barf-city on the 2 days up-flight between Baikonur and ISS. There are two things that might have played a part in her smelling of Almond.

Ever up-chucked and had it in your sinuses and nose?.. the acid frazzles one's sense of smell and taste... she could have smelled "almond" and it could have been "other" owing to this. She should know what burnt electronics smells like she is an electrical engineer - her sense of smell may have been "off".

When folks have SAS they are apparently given a series of injections, that are sedative in nature till the symptoms pass. Now that cocktail may or may not have IV vitamin B-12 in solution. Or she may have taken a B-12 shot or dosage per oral to help recover from SAS... B-12 for hangover works.

Well the core molecule of B-12 (cyanocobalamin) is one atom Carbon and one atom Nitrogen or CN. Which is cyanide... this component of medication could conceivably impart taste and smell sensation... much like anaesthetics and other drugs and compounds have a particular "taste" when administered IV, gaseous or by NG, per oral or IM.

I'm bettin' she just eroded her olfactory mucosa with emesis acid and her sense of smell/taste got out of whack for a day or two.

Victor K.


[edit on 16-10-2006 by V Kaminski]

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 01:27 PM
I read about this last week and found it interesting as well, but the source I read if from had more to say.

NASA astronaut Capt. Jerry Linenger describes the smell of space this way:

And it’s a uh, tough — you know, any aroma is tough to describe, but it has a distinct smell, and it’s sort of a burned-out, uh, after-the-fire, the next-morning-in-your-fireplace sort of smell. And that’s the real smell of the vacuum of space.

Also note that moon dust seems to smell like gunpowder. NASA has an interesting article on that as well with several possible explinations as to why. The most probably reason (to me) is that particles that are exposed to the oxygen in the space station experience oxidation which could produce a burning smell. No space is not a perfect vacuum so there is stuff up there.

The Smell of Moondust

Hat tip to Boing Boing - Ansari back from space, which smells like burnt almond cookie

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