'Smell of space' strong, metallic and unique, say NASA astronauts

      NASA astronauts aboard the US space shuttle Discovery have said that the smell of space, which is regarded as the final frontier, is strong, metallic and unique. "There is one smell up here that is really unique though and that is the smell, we just call it 'the smell of space'," said NASA engineer and astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, who is on board US space shuttle Discovery. "I haven't had a chance to do a spacewalk yet, but when the other guys did and they came back in, there's this really, really strong metallic smell," he added. For rookie astronaut Kevin Ford, Discovery's pilot, both the sounds and smells of space have surprised him. "It's like something I haven't ever smelled before, but I'll never forget it," he said. "You know how those things stick with you," he added. Chamitoff and Ford are among 13 astronauts on board the International Space Station and US space shuttle Discovery. Astronauts from Discovery have concluded a third and final spacewalk, installing new equipment on the International Space Station (ISS), though failing to connect some of the cables. The spacewalkers deployed a new payload attachment system, replaced a failed gyro assembly, installed two GPS antennae and did some work to prepare for the installation of the Node 3 "Tranquility" module next year. Built in Italy by the European Space Agency, Node 3 "Tranquility" is scheduled to be flown to the ISS next February. It contains the most advanced life support systems designed to recycle waste water and generate oxygen.

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