Astronauts Describe Aroma of The Moon

Ethics Asylum

The moon has a distinctive smell. Ask any Apollo moonwalker about the odiferous nature of the lunar dirt and you’ll get the same answer.

With NASA’s six Apollo lunar landing missions between 1969 and the end of 1972, a total of 12 astronauts kicked up the powdery dirt of the moon, becoming an elite group later to be tagged as the “dusty dozen.”

From the modest 2.5 hour “moonwalk” of Apollo 11 to the forays totaling just over 22 hours outside a spacecraft on Apollo 17, NASA’s Apollo landing crews could not escape tracking lunar material inside their moon lander homes.

Decades later, moonwalkers and lunar scientists are still trying to appreciate exactly what the moon’s aroma brings to the astronaut’s nose.

That fresh lunar regolith smell

“All I can say is that everyone’s instant impression of the smell was that of spent gunpowder, not that it was ‘metallic’ or…

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