Will Smith, NASA astronaut talk poop, smells and sex in space

The actor chatted live from Earth with International Space Station astronaut Drew Feustel of NASA about everything from bathrooms to sex in space.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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Will Smith hosts National Geographic's One Strange Rock.

National Geographic

A Hollywood icon and a real-life NASA astronaut walked into an Instagram Live conversation. That was the setup for what NASA and National Geographic called the first-ever Instagram Live from the International Space Station.

The live video feed ran this morning on the National Geographic Instagram account and a rerun should be available soon.

Actor Will Smith is known for sci-fi movie ventures like Independence Day and Men in Black, but he's also doing some nonfiction duty as the narrator and host of National Geographic's One Strange Rock documentary series about Earth, which features astronauts sharing their perspectives on our planet. 

Smith chatted -- from Earth -- with  NASA  astronaut Drew Feustel. Smith's announcement of the event hinted he'd be asking Feustel about how bathrooms work in space. They also have a love of music in common. Feustel is a guitar player. 

Smith and Feustel covered a lot of ground during their discussion, with Smith wishing he could float and spin his microphone the way an astronaut can in microgravity.

As promised, Smith asked about the challenges of pooping in space. "You can have a good day in the bathroom and you can have a really bad day in the bathroom. And you hope for the good days," said Feustel. The vacuum-like ISS toilet is known to be intimidating.

The two discussed space station odors, with Feustel describing a mix of food and hygiene-related scents. Smith also asked if Feustel knew of anyone having sex in space. The astronaut says he has no knowledge of that having taken place.

NASA astronauts often double as social media stars. This Instagram Live milestone is another space-meets-internet first. We can even trace the first Instagram space selfie to astronaut Steven Swanson, who shared a photo of himself chilling on the space station in early 2014. 

Feustel has now made his own mark on the world of Instagram with an assist from Smith.

First published, April 12, 7:42 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:15 p.m. PT: Adds information from the Instagram Live conversation.

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