Have you ever wondered what space smell like? No? Then you obviously can’t call yourself a true space enthusiast, or you just simply assumed that space doesn’t have any smell.
Well it does, according to astronaut Scott Kelly.
As part of an “Ask Me Anything” post on Reddit Monday, Kelly answered questions on an array of topics including aspects of living in space, health concerns, and being separated from loved ones.
Kelly, who is currently home after 340 consecutive days on the International Space Station, elaborated on even the oddest questions including, ‘what does space smell like?’
“We store our garbage on board for a long period of time, so sometimes it can get smelly,” said Kelly.
If the thought of living in a small metal container with your own trash sounds unpleasant, Kelly assures that it isn’t too bad. “In general, though, it’s not an unpleasant smell on board.”
Kelly did contest that smells generated from space walks outside the space station are different. “Space itself has a very unique smell, kind of like burning metal.”
If you’re still wondering how a vacuum, which does not allow for soundwaves to travel, could have a smell, Kelly tries to clarify.
“When a volume was previously at vacuum, like after a spacewalk or a supply ship arriving, when you open the hatch you can smell it,” he wrote.
Kelly isn’t the first to bring up black vacuums unique smell. Buzzfeed compiled a list of astronaut descriptions that include “walnuts and brake pads,” “wet clothes after a day in snow,” “welding fumes,” “burnt coal,” and “burnt almond cookies.”
It makes you wonder if space actually possesses this burning smell, or is the smell being generating from the outside of the space station interacting with space? Something we’ll definitely have to ask during Kelly’s next “Ask Me Anything” post.