NASA developed the smell of space in a lab to help train astronauts before launching into orbit, but the scent has been ‘trapped behind red tape and bureaucracy’ for nearly a decade’ – until now.
The Eau de Space team was able to get their hands on it and have recreated the formula into a bottled fragrance.
The firm pooled records of astronauts describing the aroma of the final frontier, which is a mixture of seared steak, raspberries and rum.
However, the scents have been optimized and can be worn safely ‘if you like the smell.’
Steve Pearce, a chemist, was originally contracted by NASA in 2008 to recreate the smell of space in a lab, CNN reports.
He used notes from astronauts about their experience to develop the scent, which was used to in training before the space fairing heroes launched into orbit.
NASA had hoped exposing them to the aroma of space would ease the mission and eliminate any surprises when they stepped outside of the craft and into the dark abyss.
Tony Antonelli, a retired NASA astronaut who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2009, still remembers the day he opened the hatch while in space for the first time.
‘I was completely blown away, after a decade of training no one told me space smells,’ he said in a video interview.
‘The smell was strong and unique, nothing like anything I have ever smelled on Earth before.’
‘Some kind of metallic mixture of other things that I just didn’t know how to describe.’
Astronaut Don Pettit also described the smell back in 2003: ‘It is hard to describe this smell; it is definitely not the olfactory equivalent to describing the palette sensations of some new food as ‘tastes like chicken.’
‘The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation.
‘It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit.’
‘It reminded me of pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes. That is the smell of space.’
It took Pearce four years to recreate this odor in a lab, which had been locked away for about 10 years.
‘Through sheer determination, grit, a lot of luck, and a couple of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we got it,’ reads Eau de Space’s Kickstarter campaign.
Consumers can purchase a four ounce bottle on the site that contains ‘outer space, comet juice.’
The company developed Eau de Space with the goal of sparking interest in STEM learning for K-12 students.
The team is also looking into releasing a fragrance called Smell of the Moon based on the excitement around Eau de Space.