Video: NASA's E-Nose Knows How to Keep Air Clean Aboard the ISS


Sniffing out problems in low-Earth orbit.

In space, no one can open a window to let in some fresh air. The International Space Station has been in orbit for 16 years. That's a lot of time for bacteria, fungi and other microbes to sprout in the enclosed environment. Luckily, NASA has developed a device to monitor the air aboard ISS, known as the Electronic Nose.

"E-Nose is a device we've built that can go around and detect in different areas microbial content," said Anna Grinberg, a systems engineer for microgravity payloads at Airbus. "It's interesting from a scientific standpoint. We can look at the flora and fauna of the space station and see how it's changing."

The E-Nose technology was developed with support from private companies who use the technology in hospitals and other Earth-bound environments.

To learn more, check out the video below from NASA: