Monday, October 20, 2008

Ig Nobel project candidate for 2009?

Van Allan Eau De Cologne

"What does outer space smell like?"

October 16th, 2008

Ever wondered what space smells like? Well, a British chemist knows and he's now recreating the odour in a laboratory.

For those of you who can't wait until the end of the year when his "perfume" will be ready, think hot metal and fried steak.

Steven Pearce, a chemist and managing director of a fragrance manufacturing company, has been asked by Nasa to recreate the smell in a laboratory.

The boffins think it will help astronauts acclimatise themselves on space missions.

Mr Pearce said: "We have a few clues as to what space smells like. First of all, there were interviews with astronauts that we were given, when they had been outside and then returned to the space station and were de-suiting and taking off their helmets, they all reported quite particular odours."

"For them, what comes across is a smell of fried steak, hot metal and even welding a motorbike, one of them said."

He added: "We have already produced the smell of fried steak, but hot metal is proving more difficult. We think it's a high energy vibration in the molecule and that's what we're trying to add to it now."

Ig Nobel prizes for 2008

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