This NASA Employee “Nose” How to Keep the Space Station Stink-Free

Lights in the Dark

Chemical Specialist George Aldrich is NASA's "master sniffer" (yes, that's a thing.) Credit: Science ChannelChemical Specialist George Aldrich is NASA’s “master sniffer” (yes, that’s a thing.)
Credit: Science Channel

In your home on Earth, if something smells bad all you have to do is open the windows to let in some fresh air. But on astronauts’ homes in space – whether it’s the ISS, on board a Soyuz TMA, or, one day, inside the Orion capsule – that luxury isn’t an option. All the air available for breathing must be included in the craft and constantly scrubbed for contaminants and recycled. And if there’s something on board that happens to have an obnoxious odor you’re stuck with it for the duration of the mission… which could have negative side effects on the performance of crew members, if it’s bad enough.

This is why NASA needs George Aldrich. A Chemical Specialist at the White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, George works in the Molecular Desorption and Analysis Laboratory and…

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