Astronaut Matthias Maurer reveals how space smells

What does outer space smell like? Few know the answer to this question. Esa astronaut Matthias Maurer knows, though.

Astronaut Matthias Maurer:

What does space smell like? German Esa astronaut Matthias Maurer compared the smell of space to the metallic smell of a sparkling sparkler. But this is not the only association of the astronaut.

Also read: The German astronaut Maurer told what the ISS thinks about the war in Ukraine

First of all, the smell is clearly heard when the capsule arrives fresh at the International Space Station (ISS). Maurer told about this in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur, according to Die Welt.

“When we open the doors after that, we can smell the capsule body, which was in outer space just a few minutes ago. The scent is a bit like a Christmas flare. “

The astronaut went on to add that his spacesuit also smelled like this after flying outside the ISS. During his stay on the ISS, one of Maurer’s tasks was repair work in outer space.

For Matthias Maurer, space smells like sparklers – yes, everything is different. But some other astronauts would definitely agree with Maurer. For example, in 2017, cosmonaut Sergei Ryazansky also acknowledged that space smells of burnt metal. Generally, the odor is given by ethyl alcohol or naphthalene. Clusters of their molecules have been found in outer space.

In addition, Maurer spoke of another, but already “clinical” odor. According to him, it smells inside the ISS, at about 400 kilometers above the ground, much like in the laboratory.

“Based on what my colleagues told me, I really expected it to smell like a submarine,” said the 52-year-old Saarlander with a smile.

How did almost 6 months in space affect the astronaut?

Astronaut Esa returned to Earth on May 6 after almost six months at the human outpost.

Of course, almost 6 months of being on the ISS did not go unnoticed. After 177 days in weightlessness, Mattias has not yet fully adapted to gravity. As a result, small “mistakes” still happen to the astronaut, as Maurer talked about in an interview.

“For example, I wanted to throw something at someone and just pressed the thing a little bit, like in space. Of course, the object fell just a meter from my feet.”

That is why Matthias Maurer now does intensive exercises that are especially aimed at developing fine motor skills. “I also notice that my head weighs a lot down here. That’s why I have to train my neck muscles first. ”

In the meantime, a German astronaut will probably soon fly to the United States to take an inventory. “After that I will take a short vacation, but after the summer break I will continue,” said Maurer, who already has another spaceflight in mind.

“I hope I get that opportunity again, either back to the ISS or even to the moon.” Important information can also be obtained on the Earth’s satellite. First and foremost for a possible mission to Mars.

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28 May 2022 at 12:57

Top picture: Esa

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