There are so many things ordinary folk, aka people who are not astronauts, want to know about space. Apparently, what space smells like is one of the burning questions thousands of people ask themselves. Since it’s probable that all those people won’t be able to travel to space in the near future, they’re doing the next best thing: buying a perfume that smells like space.
As of Monday, more than 10,000 people had pledged over $634,000 to a Kickstarter campaign aiming to bring “Eau de Space,” a perfume the campaign claims smells like — you guessed it — space, to the masses. The campaign’s organisers say NASA designed the perfume decades ago for astronaut training.
According to Eau de Space’s Kickstarter page, NASA aimed to simulate what space was like as much as possible in order to eliminate any surprises astronauts might experience up there. Nonetheless, the campaign claims that NASA had hidden its simulated space smell for years.
“Through sheer determination, grit, a lot of luck, and a couple of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we got it out,” the campaign’s organisers wrote. “Now we need your help to mass manufacturer it so that everyone can experience the Smell of Space for themselves.”
The smell of space has been compared to many things over the years, including “seared steak, hot metal, and arc welding on [an astronaut’s] motorbike.”
The campaign team is made up of experts in fashion, technology, design and logistics, according to the Kickstarter page, and also claims to have partnerships with the world’s best perfumers. It states that it’s ready to manufacture Eau de Space and only needed to meet its minimum order quantity. Per Kickstarter, the original goal was $2,835, which the campaign raised in less than 24 hours on June 19.
Currently, you can buy a bottle of Eau de Space on Kickstarter beginning at $US29 ($42), which will let you purchase one four ounce bottle and will donate another to a local K-12 STEM program. Shipping is scheduled to begin in September.
As for why the team decided to make the smell of space available, of all things, the Kickstarter page affirms that the team aims “to increase [interest in] STEM through experiential education.”
Matt Richmond, Eau de Space’s product manager, told CNN that he hopes Eau du Space will start the discussion about STEM, with parents, teachers, and scientists taking it from there.
I take this to mean that they hope to get kids and young people interested in STEM by showing them something really cool, which hey, just might make a profound impression on young souls.