Fox News' Bill Nye says Mars colonies won't happen: 'Are you guys high?' gives some highlights of science educator Bill Nye (The Science Guy)'s thoughts on Mars, moving there, living in artificial habitats, and ultimately terraforming it to better suit humans.

Nye said living in a dome just isn't feasible.

"When you leave your dome, you're gonna put on another dome, and I think that will get old pretty quick," he said. "Especially the smell in the spacesuit – all the Febreze you can pack, I think it will really help you up there."

Space suit technology has certainly evolved over the decades. But after a long hard day "at work" in current space suits, or putting on one that's been used recently, is there a significantly noticeable amount of "people molecules" floating around? So much so that regular folk (not the hearty astronaut-type) might think twice about using one?

This answer talks about the diaper used in current suits, and I know there is NASA-funded research on the next generation solid waste disposal solution for suits in situations where they needed to be worn for several days (e.g. an emergency) which will give new and literal meaning to the words "poop chute". But do current, or near-future suits have additional technology that will address odor?

Let us hope that by the time people move to Mars, Bill Nye's prediction about smelly space suits will no longer be true.


1 Answer 1


Regarding current US technology:

The regenerable Metal Oxide (METOX) cartridge used in the life support systems of current International Space Station Extravehicular Activity suits contains activated charcoal to help with odor control.

Procedurally the suit is wiped down with stericide after use, especially in high odor areas - crotch and armpits.

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