Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Bad Breath? Body Odor? Don't Bother Applying to China's Space Program

DiscoblogBy Allison BondAugust 3, 2009 10:20 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

It seems hygiene in space is all the rage. First, it was the odor-resistant underwear that one astronaut wore for a month. Now, China's space program has come up with 100 rules for potential 'nauts—and anyone with bad breath, dental cavities, body odor, or a family history of serious disease within the past three generations need not apply (apparently the program is looking only for "super human beings"). The BBC reports:

Shi Bing Bing, a doctor at the 454th Air Force Hospital in Nanjing, eastern China, said the new rules will help China send the best of the best into space. "Bad body odour will affect fellow colleagues in the narrow confines of a space shuttle," he said. "These astronauts could be regarded as super human beings." Mr Shi's hospital has now carried out a first screening of candidates to weed out those who fell foul of the 100 rules. A further two screenings will whittle hopefuls down to the small band who will follow in the footsteps of China's space pioneers, chosen in 1997.

We hate to say it, but sometimes discrimination stinks. Related Content: Discoblog: Scientists Examine Underwear Astronaut Wore for a Month Discoblog: Cooking in Space: Slow, Mediocre, and Dangerous Discoblog: What Happens to Your Underwear in Space?

Image: flickr / Valerie Everett

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In