The smell of outer space

Aug 11, 2022
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I have read numerous accounts by astronauts who say that there is a distinct "gunpowder" smell to space. I believe the Apollo astronauts reported the same in reference to their excursions on the moon. I can imagine the moon having a smell but not space itself. How can this be?
 

Catastrophe

"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
What does space perfume smell like?
In a video shared by Eau de Space, NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli says space smells “strong and unique,” unlike anything he has ever smelled on Earth. According to Eau de Space, others have described the smell as “seared steak, raspberries, and rum,” smokey and bitter.1 Jul 2020

NASA's 'smell of space' is available as a perfume - Engadget
 
There is no movement of atoms from space into the living quarters of human space ships. All movement of air is to the outside via leaks. What they are smelling comes from inside the ship, ozone from high voltages and switching sparks, perhaps overheated insulation, body odor, etc.
 
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Catastrophe

"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
Organic compounds are ubiquitous in space: they are found in diffuse clouds, in the envelopes of evolved stars, in dense star-forming regions, in protoplanetary disks, in comets, on the surfaces of minor planets, and in meteorites and interplanetary dust particles.

Organic matter in space - An overview


But I do agree that matter does not move from volumes of low pressure to volumes of higher pressure.

The smell of outer space

Is OP suggesting that it might?

Cat :)
 
May 14, 2021
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In the case of the Apollo flights, the smell was after they reentered the lunar module with dust all over their suits. That would be the smell of lunar dust, not space.
I imagine that since they were on the moon during the day, the dust was very hot along with the outer surface of their suits, and upon reentering the LM, the dust was exposed to atmospheric oxygen for the first time ever and oxidized very quickly, enough of it in vapor form, much like suddenly oxidized gunpowder.
 
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Oct 2, 2023
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There is no movement of atoms from space into the living quarters of human space ships. All movement of air is to the outside via leaks. What they are smelling comes from inside the ship, ozone from high voltages and switching sparks, perhaps overheated insulation, body odor, etc.
I was looking forward to reading such a reply. Thanks.
 
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