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What space smells like? Are you a GoT fan?: Astronaut Scott Kelly answers questions on Reddit

Scott Kelly, former NASA astronaut, started an ask-me-anything session on Reddit on Monday and faced all sorts of questions inquiring about his experience.

science Updated: Oct 18, 2017 18:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
(Scott Kelly/ Twitter)

Ever wondered how life is for astronauts who live in space during a mission. What do they do in there in their free time? How do they feel while taking their first spacewalk? And what space actually smells like?

Scott Kelly, former National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut, started an ask-me-anything session on Reddit on Monday and faced all sorts of questions inquiring about his experience.

Texas-based Kelly, who set the record in 2015 for total accumulated days in space, answered all questions, weird or not, that ultimately formed an interesting thread to read.

Here are some of the questions and answers:

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have about astronauts?

Kelly: That they were always the smartest kid in the class, and I was not.

Q: Was it strange to be back on earth with earth smells and earth people?

Kelly: Yes, it was strange, including the smelly earth people.

Q: How long does it take to get used to looking at Earth and realizing you’re not on it? What does it feel like looking at Earth?

Kelly: Instantly. You just had the ride of your life, and you know you are not on Earth anymore. It’s inspiring.

Q: How do you know how space smells like?

Kelly: When a volume was previously at vacuum, like after a spacewalk or a resupply ship arriving, when you open the hatch you can smell it.

Q: Considering your total 520 days in space, do you consciously ever feel any differences in your body or health as a result? Do you ever dream you are back in a weightless environment, and how realistic are those dreams?

Kelly: I don’t feel any differences now. Took about 8 months to feel back to normal. I rarely have a dream about space, unless I’m in space.

Q: What was your first meal upon returning back to earth?

Kelly: A salad

Q: Hello Scott, what were you most looking forward to the very FIRST time you were going to space?

Kelly: The first two minutes and ten seconds, riding on the solid rocket motors.

Q: Did you feel “smarter” once you got back on earth? The same way pilots say flying opens their mind a bit.

Kelly: You definitely have a different perspective when you’ve spent time in space, and some people refer to this as the orbital perspective: a sense of being more empathetic to the environment and the human condition.

Q: Can you describe what it was like to go on your first spacewalk?

Kelly: Surreal. Crazy. Type two kind of fun. Fun when it’s done.

Q: I was wondering, did you have any free time while on a mission in space? Did you get days off? What did you do with them? What was your favorite activity while in space?

Kelly: A couple hours every evening, and one day on the weekend. I liked taking pictures of the Earth. It’s very beautiful.

Q: Are you a fan of GOT and if so were you able to keep up while in space?

Kelly: I wasn’t until I got to space and binge watched the whole series twice.

Q: You’ve mentioned space has a smell, does it have a sound?

Kelly: No. In space, no one can hear you scream.

Q: Did you see anything strange up there? Like UFOs.

Kelly: No. However, sometimes stars or even space junk as it passes through the horizon, the atmosphere can make it look suspicious.

First Published: Oct 18, 2017 18:01 IST