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This is what space smells like

A perfume based on astronauts’ accounts of the scent of outer space exceeds Kickstarter goals.

Unusual fragrances are nothing new. Think Demeter, an American brand founded in 1996, offering scents spanning the weird to the downright strange: dirt, grass, even kitten fur. But the most far-out perfume to capture our imagination is Eau de Space with the smell of outer space.

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Back in 2008, and upon request, former Nasa scientist Steve Pearce formulated a scent for use during astronaut immersion training. Previous astronauts who had gone on spacewalks described a distinct smell – a mix of gunpowder and ozone, even seared steak – on their suits after returning to the International Space Station.

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Today, Pearce is the founder of Omega Ingredients, and the smell of space is now within our earthbound reach, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that ended last month. Extremely well- received, it raised US$614,376 (S$841,000) from almost 13,000 backers. Despite this, the Eau de Space team has no plans to produce more after the campaign.

Although its appeal as a fragrance is decidedly ambiguous, there is a noble claim to its launch: to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) fields through experiential education.

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