Enter the e-nose.
Credit DLR

A synthetic nose – the e-Nose – has been developed to sniff out environmental conditions that foster elevated microbial growth of bacteria and fungi. These organisms attack the materials on the International Space Station (ISS).

The device successfully sniffed microbial contamination in the Russian ISS sector from December 2012 to May 2013 by analyzing substances that microorganisms emit into the closed atmosphere of the orbiting facility.

According to the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) the e-Nose will be upgraded together with the Russian partner, the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP): a modified e-Nose is scheduled to start measuring in 2018 the astronauts’ health and stress levels by analyzing their exhalation gases.

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