NASA odor and bacterial filter

Object of the Month: 05/2012

What is it?:

NASA Odor and Bacterial Filter



Made by:

Pall Aeropower

Accession #: On loan courtesy Marshall Space Flight Center

It may not look like much, but filters like this one helped keep the space shuttles from being one of mankind's greatest, stinkiest achievements.

People aren't always easy to be around. After a rich dinner, for example, or when they’re at the gym. At our worst, we don’t smell the best.

Well, astronauts are people too, and they make all the same smells you do. But on the International Space Station or a space shuttle, they can’t exactly open a window, so engineers have to figure out how to clean every breath of air and puff of gas.

It may not look like much, but this metal cylinder makes life in an airtight spacecraft whole lot easier. It’s an odor filter.

Tell us what you think is inside, or read on to find out how engineers keep spacecraft fresh, clean, and healthy.