Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Nasa)

Music

Download NASA Library of Space Sounds for free

@SamWKemp

Producers, pay attention. If you’re looking for new sounds to play with, you’d do well to check out the new library of space sounds NASA recently uploaded to Soundcloud.

Alongside vocal clips of such immortal phrases such as: “Houston, we’ve had a problem” (commonly misquoted as “Houston, we have a problem”) and “The Eagle had landed”, you’ll be able to get hold of rocket sounds and the delightful bleep-bloop of satellite equipment. You’ll also find the sound of lightning on Jupiter, interstellar plasma and radio emissions. In an uncharacteristic act of humility, NASA has also included sounds of the Soviet satellite Sputnik and other international projects.

While many of these sounds were available before, they’re now all available in one place, allowing producers to browse, locate, download and manipulate the sounds they’re looking for. The sounds are also free to use because NASA’s audio isn’t copyrighted. In this sense, the sounds are a gift to the American taxpayer, whose money funds the government project. Thankfully, the library is available to everyone, not just Americans.

In a statement shared on the NASA website, NASA App project manager Jerry Colen said: “NASA has been making historic sounds for over 50 years. “Now we’re making some of these memorable sounds easy to find and use.” According to the website, most of the sounds are around 20 seconds in length, making them ideal for sampling. You’ll be able to hear the crackle of the launch of the space shuttle, STS-135; segments from President John F. Kennedy’s historic moon speech; sound wave conversions of the light curve created by stars; and other sounds of stars and planets.

It’s worth pointing out that there are some restrictions. You obviously aren’t allowed to use NASA’s name or logo or imply commercial endorsement, nor is everything NASA published included on the same license, so be careful. Aside from that, the sounds are up for grabs and can be used in any way you see fit. You might want to use a Jupiterian thunderclap in place of an 808 kick or hook up one of the vocal phrases to an arpeggiator and have fun that way. You can read NASA’s full list of media guidelines here.