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NASA Sniffer

George can't work if he has a cold.
Sniffer
Smelling runners is part of the job.
Smelly Runners
Even shaving cream is sniffed.
Shaving Cream

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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Comments

Joel Holmes

Joel Holmes wrote:

^ brun LOL thats you. yeah that is so totly grose.
commented: Fri Jun 07, 2013

21inkiepielover
Ewwww!! I don't smell those!! DX
commented: Fri Jun 07, 2013

WizardGirl3311
No offence, but this is kinda gross.......
commented: Fri Jun 07, 2013

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What Wouldn't You Smell?

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

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jordand08
"supernaturalblackcat" wrote:I know i have depession and i have been to the doctor for it. It's starting to get to that point again for the 3rd time this year that i want to be alone. It feels like no one cares about me at school. I really can't trust anybody either. I started to quit eating at home and at school only eating snacks every now and then. I am also losing Weight. I used to get called fat and i wasn't even fat. I have been abused by people who say my butt is smexy and huge and it's not. I have even been slapped on by them. I tell my mom and dad that i've been called fat and my dad ignore's me and continues whatever he's doing. I'm getting to the point again where i'm losing my temper and emotions right on the spot. I can't be bipolar cause it has to run in the family and my mom says i don't have it. People get mad at me when i don't laugh at their jokes when they expect me too cause i really don't listen. But when i say something funny they roll their eyes and give me mean looks. I don't even want to be around people that much. I just want to be outside in the fresh air during school but it's high school so their's no outside time. I also fake smile's at people to make them happy. But i just hurt on the inside. I just want advice.  Hi there. I'm sure you have people who care about you at school, just sometimes it's hard to see it. Dear, you have to eat. I assure you, you're not fat. (smexy isn't necessarily a bad thing)  You have to understand, that people say things just because they can, or to make themselves feel better. Never give them that opportunity, just ignore them. When you're about to lose your temper, think of something that makes you really happy.  If you need someone to talk to, you have your guidance consular, trust me I have social anxiety, and reallly hate talking about my problems, I find it easier for me, to message them. It's their job to listen, but not only that, they really care for all of their students. Talking helps, believe me.
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jordand08
"lion2a3" wrote:its beacause well people at shcool act like your friends but know deep inside i just dont have friendsand then theres bullies some picks on me for no the only place i can be myself KW so should i do suidce also im 11 No Ma'am you shouldn't. Things happen for a reason, normally to make others stronger. Trust me, nothing is worth taking your own life. If you need to talk I'm here, however I would suggest you talking to an adult.  Friends come and go. you have family, and if not, you have me, Trust me, it's not worth it. please, don't. 
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Zachaddy
Zachaddy posted in Family Issues:
Erevy one goes through different things trust me I know what it is like and I am not happy about the change in my life but I talk to friends about it
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Zachaddy
Zachaddy posted in Family Issues:
I might Sean crazy but no there is a explanation for EVERYTHING
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Zachaddy
Zachaddy posted in Family Issues:
If u need to talk to me u can but u should not kill ur self I am really got at helping people and I love to so if you want to talk u can but please don't kill your self
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