back to article NASA readies remodeled ISS ENose

NASA astronauts aboard Endeavour's STS-126 mission will soon be testing the space agency's latest generation of "electronic nose," designed to monitor the International Space Station's crew cabin for harmful chemicals. As a humanitarian - or rather, robotarian gesture - we hope they'll install the experimental "ENose" away from …

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Wisdom is not from knowledge gained.

To have the answer is to forever lose hold of the question.

In conveniently knowing "who dealt it" the intrigue of the question - at first hanging, lingering, wafting, in and through the ether all around us - is sucked out into the frozen vacuum and all that is left is store-bought pine fresh ignorance and crib notes.

We are at once both smarter and dumber. More knowledgeable and more ignorant. Highly informed bovines chewing the same, sterile, mental cud in endless, soporific mastication. We deserve the slow descent into intellectual impotence this technology ushers in.

Congratulations, NASA. You have doomed us all to mediocrity and mundanity. Decline and dissolution... not because it was easy, but because it was hard.

Bravo.

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Alien

Still fairly useless

This type of kit (and fighting the humidity, leaks and chemical spills) on the ISS is trying to walk up an elevator going down. In a weightless environment there is no convection so spills and leaks will stay confined to specific areas. Unless this nose can do an unattended inspection walk all around the station once a day it will be of little use.

The other alternative is to spin it. It is about time we look back to Arthur Clarke and Co and start building the space cartwheels they described 40+ years ago. Our present day tech is not far off from being able to do that.

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Eyes and ears on the ground

...and now nose.

Shame they dropped their tool box. Funniest video I've seen in a long time!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7736996.stm

Women and tools eh? :-) (and now I change my mind about the anonymous button...)

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Gold badge

I can see it now.

"Right you bastards. If nobody'll own up, I'll just ask the computer. Computer, who was it who just dropped that one?"

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Alert

@Still fairly useless

<q>In a weightless environment there is no convection so spills and leaks will stay confined to specific areas.</q>

Um... no? As long as there is air (and an above absolute zero temperature) there would be convection. The "pressure" inside the cabin is actually the air moving rapidly around in there all the time.

Any leak of gases (or fluids that vaporize) would be detectable from anywhere within the complex in a short time.

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useful secondary experiment...

looking into who smelt it, dealt it

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I want to trademark....

... The iSniff!

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Flame

Methane

It doesn't detect methane, or at least it doesn't seem to be on that list.

I'd say that would be a very important thing to detect, if you're concerned with air quality. Bring on the Fart-Alert!

Flames, 'coz methane's flammable.

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