Science! By Jan. 13, 2015 8:30 am
NASA uploads its historical audio to SoundCloud, here’s our favorites | Science! |

Neil Armstrong’s pronouncement of “one giant leap for mankind” and the infamous “Houston, we’ve had a problem” quip from Apollo 13 are iconic moments in NASA’s history.

While they may be the most recognizable, they’re not the only gems tucked inside NASA’s new SoundCloud library. The audio clip collection covers much of the space agency’s past, such as the Apollo program and Mercury efforts, but there’s also clips from current missions and a variety of unmanned missions. So let’s dig into some of the highlights.

The Apollo Missions

The moon landing still stands out as one of the seminal achievements in space history. The Apollo program is well represented in this SoundCloud collection. You have the pronouncement that, “The Eagle has landed” and of course Armstrong’s “One small step for (a) man.”

But it was a challenge from President John F. Kennedy that was one of the drivers of the effort to get to the moon. The list has three key excerpts from JFK, including the famous, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

The Apollo program was a multi-year effort, and you get to experience that here with some of the different pieces of audio. The “successful failure” of Apollo 13 gets some love, including the infamous, “Houston, we’ve had a problem” announcing that things were going terribly wrong. There are several Apollo 11 clips, including a countdown and liftoff, where you can hear the roar of the rocket sounds as the mission heads to space. You can even hear the beeping from Sputnik.

The Space Shuttle Era

The space shuttle may not be as iconic as the Apollo missions, but it is a major piece of NASA history and is represented in the SoundCloud library well. My favorite here is audio from Sally Ride, who describes a takeoff as an “E-ticket,” referencing Disneyland’s old system of ticketing for rides.

There are also other snippets of lift off, landing, and astronaut commentary. You can get nostalgic with announcer commentary from the last shuttle mission as well. But there’s nothing better than listening to a liftoff countdown and rocket launch.

Some cool space sounds

There are plenty of other cool sounds that would liven up any smartphone or computer if you’re into that kind of customization. For example, you could get nostalgic with some of the transmissions from the Mercury missions.

There are also a series of three- to four-second communications between Houston and astronauts. This collection can quickly become a time sink.

Now read: NASA made some gorgeous print-quality exoplanet travel posters

NASA uploads its historical audio to SoundCloud, here’s our favorites | Science! |


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