What Does Space Smell Like?

What it is: Outer space.  A place only a few select people will ever have the opportunity to not only visit space but undertake a what does space smell likespace walk. Whilst their noses may never physically be exposed to the atmosphere of space, their suits and helmets reportedly return with a smell that can often be hard to put words to. I wonder if there is more to space than we realise.

Is it void of such a concept or is it filled with its own unique odours?

What it smells like: Astronauts, when asked, provide descriptions of the ‘smell of space’ in a number of ways. Upon returning from a spacewalk, and after removing their helmets, they have repeatedly commented that they can smell what can only be described as ‘hot metal’, or ‘burning metal’. Others have gone on to further define the smell, relating it similar to gunpowder in that it has a sulfurous odour. Their suits, helmets, gloves and tools all carried a smell, which was more pronounced on fabrics than on any of the metal or plastic surfaces.

This is not just a random comment but a consistent claim.

Put all of these together, and it is clear that outer space stinks.

Therefore the question of ‘What does space smell like?’ may be answered by each who experience is in a slightly different way, as they use their own life experiences to base their own point of relativity.

The common theme however is that is has a metallic nature. That is the smell of space.

The next question however is, does space actually smell, or is it the machinery, space shuttle, and associated fumes which it carries with it that actually creates such a smell? Is it the vibrations in the particles, coupled with our presence in space that is the cause of the metallic odour?

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