Posted: May 19, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The “Overnight Scentsation,” a miniature breed of rose, was sent into orbit on the 1998 Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-95 to identify the smell of the flower in space. John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth also became the oldest person to fly in space during this mission, where he performed headspace analysis to capture the scent of the space rose. The overall aroma was pleasant but much reduced compared to the smell of the rose grown on Earth. Analyzing the components of the rose volatiles showed that while the smell was decreased overall, the production of the main rose-smell constituents, phenyl ethyl alcohol, citronellol, geraniol, and methyl geranate actually increased in space. This ultra-rosey space rose smell was resynthesized based on the headspace trace, and is a primary note in the Shiseido fragrance Zen [PDF]. (via Plants! In! Space! | Oscillator, Scientific American Blog Network)

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