the smell of spaceNo one can hear you in space but they sure can smell you!

The cramp quarters and lack of laundry facilities make for some otherworldly funk at the International Space Station.

Recently Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata test drove some high tech odor free underwear called J-wear. “I haven’t talked about this underwear to my crew members,” warned Wakata. “But I wore them for about a month, and my station crew members never complained for about a month, so I think the experiment went fine.”

But not all smells are coming from inside the space station. Rookie astronaut Kevin Ford was overwhelmed by a strong metallic smell when his colleagues returned from their spacewalk. “It’s like … something I haven’t ever smelled before, but I’ll never forget it,” said Ford. “You know how those things stick with you.”

It’s know as the ‘smell of space’ and Thomas Jones, a former NASA astronaut and veteran spacewalker, thinks it’s actually atomic oxygen that’s clinging to spacesuit fabric. But while Japan is trying to clear the air, NASA wants to replicate the smell to make training more realistic.

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