Friday, June 08, 2012

The Moon Smells Like Gunpowder and Scientists Don’t Know Why!

Once you smell it you’re going to taste it. The smell of the Moon has been puzzling NASA scientists since Apollo 16. Not only does the smell of the Moon give you a metallic taste on the middle of your tongue it also smells like spent gunpowder even though it’s composition is completely different than actual gunpowder!
In 1972 astronaut... John Young, commander of the Apollo 16 mission, became the 9 th person to walk on the Moon. He was also one of the few to smell the moon on location. So how did he do it? Every Apollo astronaut received a whiff of the moon whether they wanted to or not because they would track moon dust back into Lander. Moondust is extremely clingy and would stick to any exposed surface.
Young had the chance to actually taste moon dust and commented that it wasn’t half bad. Other astronauts who encountered it such as Gene Cernan from Apollo 17 stated, “It’s soft like snow, yet strangely abrasive.” Cernan also famously said, “it smells like spent gunpowder.”
The moons smell of gunpowder has trumped scientists left and right as its actual composition is nowhere near the same as gunpowder. Gunpowder is simply a mixture of nitrocellulose (C6H8(NO2)2O5) and nitroglycerin (C3H5N3O9). Both of these explosive compounds are found on Earth and not on the Moon

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