After one gets over the news that it smells bad, it looks like the odor of Outer Space is hard to pin down. It’s reportedly a bit like burnt metal, welding fumes and seared steak. Acrid but slightly sweet; sulphurous and undeniable. The astronauts’ suits and gear, upon returning from space walks, stunk like they’d been camping at a celestial tire fire. It was such an unlikely surprise.
But at one time so was the discovery that smoke from earthly tire fires, oil refineries, automobiles and backyard incinerators probably was to blame for the continually bad air.