Close Call for Space Station?

When you’re in the confines of a space ship orbiting the earth, you don’t want any funky smelling gas coming through the vents.

International space station astronauts pulled an alarm and donned protective gear Monday after smelling a foul odor that turned out to be a chemical leaking from an oxygen vent,
NASA said.

“We don’t exactly know the nature of the spill … but the crew is doing well,” said Mike Suffredini, NASA’s space station program manager. “It’s not a life-threatening material.”

The crew first reported smoke but it turned out to be an irritant, potassium hydroxide, leaking from an oxygen vent, Suffredini said.

The crew donned surgical gloves and masks but did not have to put on gas masks or oxygen masks, Suffredini said.

“Things are calming down,” NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries said.

Turns out, the offending odor was Potassium Hydroxide, sometimes known as potash lye. It’s an irritant, and not something you want to fool with. Hopefully, it’ll be cleared up soon.

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