For phonophiles out there, NASA recently launched its own SoundCloud page, filled with fantastic sounds and historic snippets from the US space agency’s 56-year history. The page includes conversations between Earth and the various space shuttles, sounds sent back from distant satellites, and some of the most famous words ever uttered. All the clips are downloadable. NASA even suggests making one your ringtone.
Here are our favorites:
“A small step for (a) man…”
Neil Armstrong’s famous first words when he touched the soil of the moon was the first SoundCloud clip the agency posted online. Note that in the title, NASA corrects Armstrong’s grammar—”man” and “mankind” being the same thing in this context.
We did it
This is what it sounded like when the first manned mission to the moon, Apollo 11, lifted off, including the applause in the space center:
When Apollo 11 touched down in 1969, Armstrong said “The eagle has landed.” The reply? “You’ve got a bunch of guys here about to turn blue. We’re breathing again.” Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent a total of 21 hours and 36 minutes on the surface of the moon.
The Apollo 13 mission
So it turns out Jack Swigert, the astronaut on this ill-fated trip, did not say “Houston, we have a problem” but rather, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Details, Tom Hanks. Details.
The sounds of blast-off
Here is a collection of various moments from a space shuttle launch, including the countdown to a launch.
The sounds of space
Nasa has a collection of sounds from space that would make Ben Burtt, the sound designer for Star Wars and the voice of Wall-E, jealous. Quartz particularly loves the sounds of radio transmissions from Saturn by the Cassini space probe, and lightning on Jupiter from Voyager: