Thursday, October 16, 2008


Right, so apparently Steven Pearce, "a chemist and managing director of a fragrance company" ((ITV journalists couldn't be bothered to source the name of this enterprise)) has been asked by NASA if he can recreate the "smell of outer space" in a laboratory. Pearce has interviewed a couple of astronauts, posing such vital questions as "Does the Solar System stink?" and, based on this waffle, he's come up with the following:

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

Hot metal? Fried steak? Well, let's not piss around the bush: we're obviously talking frazzled astronaut corpses. We all know Laika must be beginning to whiff by now, but how many snuffed-it space explorers are floating around up there too? It's not very respectful, is it? How about simulating the smell of the Potters Bar train crash? "It smelt a bit of hamburger and burning rubber" I suppose.

Apparently, this experiment's for the benefit of US astronauts, who want to 'acclimatise' to space before they go up there. Oh for God's sake, it's a smell. Can you imagine Yuri Gagarin behaving like this? Pearce confesses to be struggling to get the hot metal / motorbike smell right, though he had a little more luck nailing down the pong of fried steak. Why don't NASA just tell their wannabe astronauts to toss a rib-eye steak in the pan and hang out round a garage, if they really need to 'acclimatise'. Maybe then the organisation could get back to doing 'proper' stuff, like checking the shuttles' safety seals before they launch people into the Texas desert.

Perhaps the trainee astronauts could also neck a few aspirins, to practice eating "space food" in 2047 - mmm, just imagine sitting in your pod, watching dust clouds swirl around Mongolia, and scoffing down a delicious shepherd's pie and rhubarb crumble....IN A PILL!
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