Nothing Goes Up In Space Without His Sniffing.

George Aldrich is neither an expert space traveler nor makes a space shuttle but the Chief Sniffer of NASA, White Sands, New Mexico. His job is to smell everything that goes up from the test facility at this NASA center.

Many objects do not give out any smell on the earth, but in space they do and have toxic effects with smell. The space is full of atmosphere-free heat that will make any object emit unbearable stink and also bake it. It is possible that anything might give out toxic invisible fumes. He has stopped many accidents by sniffing all the items – can be personal or from the lab.
He has been working for last 38 years with NASA. His nasal receptors numbered 400, can play with everything to ensure that nothing will bother the astronauts in the area they have to work.

NASA’s Suzanna Harper, the Manager of Nasal Lab, says that nothing can be compared to Alrich’s job. The atmospheric air on earth can remove the smell by itself by ventilating. It is not possible up in a limited area where the astronauts work. There is no air up there, and any smell will remain and expand to become unbearable to make their life unbearable. The astronauts are allowed to take small personal belongings with them like books, etc. He remembers to have not allowed to take the mascara by a female astronaut. Otherwise, it may have become dangerous. So far he has smelt about 780 different objects for the space work.

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Photograph: Dainik Bhaskar

He is popular in the media in the US and has been a guest speaker in many TV shows. His contribution is laudable, and he hopes to continue to work a long period to come.


Former Sailing Sea Captain at V.Ships, Miami, FL, USA (retired in 2009). Studied BA (Sophomore) at The Principia, now lives in Jaipur, India

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