Eve Simmons | Contributing Writer | Monday, 25 January 2016

What Space Smells Like And Other Things We Learnt From Astronaut Scott Kelly’s Reddit AMA

What Space Smells Like And Other Things We Learnt From Astronaut Scott Kelly’s Reddit AMA

The Debrief: Question 1: How The Hell Has He Got WiFi?

Clearly, spending an entire year floating around in space can get a bit dull. I mean, what on earth (or Mars) does one do with no phone, no Topshop and no Netflix?? What a killer. After more than 300 days hanging about in space, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly had played enough rounds of ‘guess the planet’ and turned his attention to alternative forms of entertainment. 

He fired up the dial-up broadband and enlisted the help of the most insightful, intelligent and upstanding online community. Reddit, of course.

The users were as inappropriate and shameless as always, asking the American spaceman a brilliant selection of (mainly fasces-themed) questions. 

Here are the weirdest things we learnt from Scott Kelly’s Ask Me Anything:

1. You get a great pedicure

According to Astronaut Scott, following a prolonged period in space, 'The calluses on your feet in space will eventually fall off so the bottoms of your feet become very soft like newborn baby feet’, although…. ‘the top of my feet develop rough alligator skin because I use the top of my feet to get around here on space station when using foot rails’. Ew.

2. You get pretty ripped

In order to stay ‘healthy’ in space, Mr Kelly says that exercise is required for ‘about an hour and a half a day’. He didn’t elaborate on what ’exercise’ entails exactly…. Probably Star jumps (sorry).

3. They add acid to your wee

When asked what the worst thing is that he’s ever had to clean up in space, Scott answered, ‘recently I had to clean up a gallon-sized ball of urine mixed with acid’. Lucky man!He then went on to explain that the acid is added to the urine to make sure your piss doesn’t ‘clog up’ the system. 

4. Lingering smells include rotting rubbish and antiseptic

‘Smells vary depending on what segment you are in’, says Scott,  ‘sometimes it has an antiseptic smell. Sometimes it has an odor that smells like garbage. But the smell of space when you open the hatch smells like burning metal to me’. Can we FedEx some Febreeze to Outer Space plz?

5. His first meal back on earth will be one WHOLE delicious cucumber. 

No welcome-home Maccy D’s for Spaceman Scott, unfortunately. 

‘The first thing I will eat will probably be a piece of fruit (or a cucumber) the Russian nurse hands me as soon as I am pulled out of the space capsule’. #HEALTH

6. Astronauts are annoyingly shit at space-themed puns.

Guess what Scott’s favourite David Bowie song is? Go on. Nope, not Starman. Nope, not Space Oddity.

‘Probably Modern Love’. We’re bitterly disappointed.

7. Well-seasoned food remains a priority

‘For salt, we actually use liquid salt that we put on our food’. Oh thank god for that.

8. Astronauts LOVE a good light display

When asked what the single most breathtakingly, beautiful or powerful thing he’s seen from Space, Scott answered:

‘Probably this one day where we had incredible aurora completely around the space station’. Aurora is a natural light phenomenon whereby red and green light stream brightly in the atmosphere. Surely getting a boner in zero-gravity beats that?

9. The Bahamas is just as beautiful in Outer Space

Scott’s favourite spot on Earth to view from Space is the Bahamas. 

The brilliant and varied colors of the blue water and contrast from here is pretty spectacular’.

Unlucky, Stonehenge.  

Scott Kelly is due to return to earth on March 1st, after his yearlong mission aboard the space station.  The retired U.S Navy Captain holds the record for the longest continuous spaceflight of any American. 

Hopefully next time he’ll tell us what it’s like to shit in Space, because let’s be honest, that’s all we really care about.

Like This?  You Might Also Be Interested In:

What’s It Like To Have Your Period In Space?

Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask Your Tattooist 

Girls Basically Incapable Of Doing Any Job, Science Says 

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