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NASA Sniffer

For some jobs it's up to dogs to smell danger. At NASA it's up to George Aldrich to put his nose to work and sniff out any problems. He's in charge of 25 people who have to smell everything that goes into space. George tells New Scientist Magazine that smells change in space and once you're up there you're stuck with them. He works in the New Mexico desert and smells everything from sneakers to adult diapers.

Why He's Gotta Smell It All

Things smell different in space because of the confined space and the heat. "Think of a new car," explains George. "If you parked it in normal weather with the window open, that new car smell would be there in the background. But if you parked it in the sun on a sweltering day with the windows up, then the smell would be pretty overpowering. You'd be speeding up the evaporation of the chemicals."

George smells anything that goes inside a space shuttle. Here are a list of some of the things he's smelled: paints, magic markers, socks, shaving cream, tennis shoes, deodorized and non-deodorized tampons, adult diapers, a guitar and the case and toy animals like Chuckie Bear and Barney. FYI - astronauts wear diapers when they are out doing space walks and other circumstances where they just might need one. "We rejected some mascara from Sally Ride. She was the first American female astronaut and we tested a lot of things for her," says George.

Smell... I Mean Sound Appealing?

Does this job smell... I mean sound appealing? George explains how he became a NASA sniffer. "I never really thought much about whether I had a good sense of smell. I started with NASA in the fire department when I was 18. I was young and healthy and they asked me to be on their Odor Panel. I've now done 744 'smell missions' over 100 more than anyone else," explains George.

To get the job he had to pass a special physical. "You can't have any allergies or respiratory problems and they frown on high blood pressure. NASA wants healthy test subjects and if you have a lot of allergies your nasal passages are already irritated and cannot be used. And then you have to be able to smell. We have what we call the "10-bottle test": seven of them have odors and three of them are blanks. We have to certify our noses every three months like this."

Being a professional sniffer might make a few people chuckle but the job is very important. "For all the money it takes to get the shuttle off the ground, it's pointless if they have to abort the mission because of an odor inside the capsule," says George. "It is even more important because of the space station. The shuttle will be regularly supplying the astronauts up there with fresh supplies and taking away all their waste. I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think it was important."

So what does George's business card say? "I call myself a nasal-naut. I've got a picture of the shuttle with the solid rocket boosters and my daughter has drawn a little skunk. Right in the middle it says: "If something smells in the space programme I'll be there to get wind of it."

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What Wouldn't You Smell?

  • Dirty diapers.
  • Moldy food.
  • My dad's armpits.
  • I would smell anything for money.

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Alois_Trancy_
Alois_Trancy_ posted in Friends:
"Rameza" wrote:My best friend just keeps back stabbing me.well to speak the truth we have been BFF's since 2nd Grade but when we reached into 5th grade she would talk all of these lies on me,once we had this big argument that we didn't speak to each other for 1 whole month.we forgived each other but now this group of girls would pick on me and #### ##### things about me behind my back.Now they treat me so nice and make all these jokes with me but at the end of the day it's the same routine over and over again.My mom tells me that their just jealous but it's making me drop back in my school work  now as usual I would probably say "kill them" but since this is correct grammar and punctuation I will take this seriously. Report them to the principal. Tell them how you feel. If it gets worse contact the police ( I've had to do this )
reply about 4 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Friends:
When your friend starts to talk about you, and stabs you in the back. then maybe it's time to move on. In friendships, there will always be times when your friend hurt your feelings, but if it's being repeated, then maybe it's time to let go. Because some things aren't worth it.
reply about 4 hours
Alex227
Alex227 posted in Friends:
You should if you really want to, but I don't think it should matter the amount of knowledge you and your friends have, because friendship is merely friendship! :) Plus, when you tell them, it may come across as bragging and they would perceive you as a show-off. Hope this helps!
reply about 7 hours
hugebear
hugebear posted in Friends:
Congratulations on being gifted and getting all the opportunties what your getting :) You knows your friends better than any of us and how does you think they will react if you tell them?  Thinks about if one of your friends told you and how you would feel.  Be proud and enjoy your learning and you will meet other gifted people too in your classes and ask them their experiences too of how/if they told friends. If it was me then I probably wouldnt but thats just me personality. I wouldnt ever get in the gifted group anyway so I doesnt really have to think about this :)
reply about 13 hours
__dischic3__
__dischic3__ posted in Style:
today I got my hair down...chillin'
reply about 21 hours

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