Print 14 comment(s) - last by donjuancarlos.. on Oct 23 at 3:16 AM

"Scratch and sniff" artwork has surprising scent.

The moon smells like gunpowder according to astronauts who have set foot on earth’s nearest neighbor, and now the smell of moon dust has inspired a series of "scratch-and-sniff" art.

Apollo 16 astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr. used his experience of being on the moon to help designers duplicate the distinctive odor.  Edinburgh Printmakers have developed the scent into a printable ink which is being used to create 300 limited edition moon prints.

Sue Corke, apprentice printer at Edinburgh Printmakers said on the company website, that she liked the idea of creating a false memory.

"Smell, place and memory are very closely linked. No one who sniffs our postcard from the moon is ever likely to go there," said Corke.  "Yet now I hope this is a smell, similar to a freshly struck match, which will always remind them of it."

Corke said they were kicking around ideas when they remembered reading an article on the NASA website and they really liked some of the descriptions the astronauts gave about the moon's smell.

"It is described as a 'gunpowder' kind of smell, and as a lot of astronauts would have to train by firing and handling guns, we think that's a fairly reliable description."

NASA has known about the smell of moon dust since the '70s (the substance would get on astronauts suits and they would track it back into the spaceships).  Apollo 14 lunar module pilot Edgar D. Mitchell has speculated that the moon smells like gunpowder, possibly because of the composition of basalt rock from ancient lava flows on the side of the moon that faces Earth.

"That's true. It's because, on the front side [of the moon], in particular, there's a lot more lava that has come out from internal volcanism on the front side, and that's what smells like gunpowder -- basalt rock," said Mitchell.

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All Lies!
By ElementZero on 10/21/2010 4:49:33 PM , Rating: 1
How do you really know the moon smells like gunpowder? I mean I'm sure nobody has taken off the helmets to get a good sniff (and if they did...well...they wouldn't be around to tell us about it right now).

I mean I suppose you could just chalk it up to the moon dust on their uniforms, but if you want to get technical you could say that's what "moon dust" smells like, not "the moon".

Even if you could take off your helmet, I doubt the moon would smell like anything as their is no air for the scent to travel on.

Anyways - just playing devils advocate about it (not really being serious) lol

RE: All Lies!
By Souka on 10/21/2010 5:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
Quite a few pounds of moon-rock was brought back to Earth... I'd imagine it smells the same as the dust...

Here's an excellent article about the smell from last April, includes some photos.
Google search these key words...1st article
--> moon rocks smell

RE: All Lies!
By bunnyfubbles on 10/22/2010 3:08:48 AM , Rating: 2
Dust on the suits plus rocks collected. Not sure there's much else the moon is made of that could smell different.

RE: All Lies!
By BruceLeet on 10/22/2010 2:35:44 PM , Rating: 3
I agree all lies, it is supposed to smell like CHEESE! How dare they steal a childhood memory from me.

RE: All Lies!
By donjuancarlos on 10/23/2010 3:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
Because when they climbed back into the spaceship, they took off their helmets and sniffed their boots.

Posted under Science?
By Denigrate on 10/21/2010 12:44:37 PM , Rating: 3
I suppose it is vaguely related to science, but seems like it should have been filed under Marketing to Space Dorks.

I suppose that if you just have to have "art" that smells like gunpowder, this is a great thing.

RE: Posted under Science?
By morphologia on 10/21/2010 3:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
There's scientific reasons behind why the moon smells the way it does. C'mon, use your imagination.

RE: Posted under Science?
By chiadog on 10/21/2010 9:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
Moon is a giant bullet fired out of a giant space gun?

By Luticus on 10/21/2010 1:12:44 PM , Rating: 2
I did not realize our moon was scratch n' sniff!

RE: Sniff!!!
By amanojaku on 10/21/2010 1:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
You must not have been social in college. One good party teaches you that EVERYTHING is scratch and sniff.

RE: Sniff!!!
By marvdmartian on 10/21/2010 2:13:08 PM , Rating: 1
One word: Eeeeewwwwwwwww!!!! ;)

For kids...
By Souka on 10/21/2010 2:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well, this is a neato idea for kids (I have two).. just to give them more than pictures and some artifcats in a museum to look at.

I will say however, when reading this, I kept thinking "So they're getting input from asronauts who were there 30-40 years ago? Wow... good memory." Of course there are samples available, and likely such a smell was recorded in many of the reports within NASA... still make me chuckle a bit.

RE: For kids...
By angryplayer on 10/21/2010 6:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
When you go to the moon, it's not exactly routine and forgettable.

Just sayin'.

After eating some chili....
By Integral9 on 10/22/2010 2:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
There's sure to be some smelly moon dust on my tightie-whities.

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