WEIRD JOBS: Meet the man whose job is to smell stuff at NASA before they go to space


As staff sniffer at Nasa, George
Aldrich holds surely one of the
weirdest jobs going, having
spent nearly 40 years smelling
any and every object before it
goes into space.
A typical day of toxicity and
odour testing sees George
sniffing books, hats, glues,
watches and more, from
everyday items to specialised
space equipment.
While it might seem peculiar,
Aldrich’s job is of vital
importance, because even the
smallest smell can hang around
for years and years on a space
station, and as the Science
Channel explains in a profile of
him, that not only affects the
astronauts’ usefulness but can
also make them sick.
“If George fails to identify just
one problematic pong, a whole
mission could be in jeopardy,” it
“Here on the ground if there’s
some kind of a foul odour –
maybe someone was in the
bathroom or cut an onion open –
it eventually…

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