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Tuesday night, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley interviewed Commander Scott Kelly, who’s aboard the International Space Station three months into a year-long mission in space. Kelly’s historic mission–intended to learn about the impact on astronauts’ bodies of extended stays in zero gravity–was the focus, but the interview began with an exchange about names.
“Every time I hear your name on 60 Minutes, I turn around and it sounds like someone’s calling my name,” said Kelly. Pelley said if he could, he’d happily “trade a consonant to trade places with you.”
Kelly (the astronaut) told Pelley (the anchorman) he’s feeling well both physically and mentally after three months. Kelly also described the ISS as somewhat stinky at times–a mix of antiseptic and garbage–but the hardest thing to describe is the smell of space itself:
“Now space has its own unique smell,” he said. “So whenever a vehicle docks or if guys are out doing a spacewalk, the smell of space when you open up the hatch is very distinct. It’s kind of like a burning-metal smell, if you can imagine what that would smell like. And as far as the sounds on the space station, it’s pumps, fans, motors, certain modules are louder than others, but it’s generally a pretty nice working environment. It’s not too loud or too smelly.”