One 'Strange' Instagram Live: Will Smith Has a Few Quirky Questions for a Space Station Astronaut

Will Smith called an astronaut at the International Space Station Thursday (April 12) in the first-ever Instagram Live video streamed from space.

The actor and comedian, who hosts the new documentary series "One Strange Rock," had an amusing 20-minute chat with NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, a flight engineer for Expedition 55. The series, which premiered March 26 on the National Geographic Channel, tells the story of life on Earth from the perspective of astronauts — the only people who have ever left it.

During their call, Feustel and Smith talked about life in orbit, the effects of weightlessness on the human body, and the "overview effect" that many astronauts experience when seeing Earth from space. Smith also had some very practical spaceflight questions for Feustel, like "How do you poop?" and "What does it smell like in the International Space Station?" [Space Station Photos: Expedition 55 Crew in Orbit]

Feustel didn't offer many details on the subject of pooping in space (but if you really want to know, has the scoop on space poop here). "You hope for the good days, but the bad days can be challenging," Feustel said, and left it at that. He was more open to talking about his personal hygiene routine, which doesn't involve showering or bathing. Instead, the astronauts rub soaking-wet towels and soap all over their bodies every day. "It's hard to stay real clean up here," Feustel said.

Those wet towels are responsible for some of the aromas you can find in the space station, Feustel said. Food smells are also pretty common inside the orbiting lab, which currently houses six crewmembers. But space also has a smell outside of the station, Feustel said. Astronauts returning from spacewalks tend to reek of ozone, which smells like burnt wire, he said.

Smith asked Feustel whether he knew of any astronauts who had joined the "mile high club" in space (in other words, whether anyone has had sex in space). Smith asked, "Has anyone attempted for research purposes…the process of procreating the human species in space?"

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After wiping a tear from his eye and suppressing his laughter, the astronaut replied that he had "no knowledge of those tests being done."

Smith wrapped up the interview with one more burning question: "What is the shape of this spaceship called Earth?"

It's pretty darn round from my viewpoint," Feustel said. "There's no doubt about it, we're going round and round."

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.