Sound in Space: A Voyage Through Time
We know that sound can’t physically travel through outer space. But space is far from void of all sound, technically speaking.
Radio, TV and internet signals are continuously escaping earth to travel out into the great unknown. Human beings have been intentionally projecting and propelling tracks into space for some time. Check out a brief history of Earth’s galactic playlist so far:
China’s Dongfanghong I satellite broadcast the song Dōngfānghóng (The East is Red) from orbit for 20 days.
Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan gave a short rendition of Ed Haley’s The Fountain in the Park while strolling on the Moon.
Two space probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, were launched by NASA in 1977 with a copy of the Voyager Golden Record. The record included a range of different audio clips and 27 songs from countries all over the world.
The crew of Soviet spacecraft Soyuz TM-7 took the first rock music to space. The cosmonauts carried a cassette tape of Pink Floyd’s Delicate Sounds of Thunder to the Mir space station. Then they left it up there (oops).
The British space probe named Beagle 2 was loaded with a recording from UK rock band Blur, titled Beagle 2. This track was supposed to play as it landed on Mars. But the European Space Agency sort of misplaced the Beagle 2...for 11 years. So we’re only fairly sure this happened.
Curiosity, indisputably Mars' most popular rover, became the first to successfully broadcast a song on another planet. The song in question was Will.i.am’s Reach for the Stars. Probably not our first choice.
After a year on the red planet, Curiosity played Happy Birthday to itself. Which is sweet and a bit sad.
2018 was weird but are we surprised that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk launched one of his Tesla Roadsters into space? Not in the slightest. For the electric vehicle's ongoing journey to the asteroid belt, naturally David Bowie's Starman is being blasted from the entertainment system.
We've sent more than a few tracks into space over the last 50 years, and during that time we haven't received any contact from the aliens. Coincidence? We hope so. You can decide for yourself by checking out the sounds of humanity in our Earth's Galactic Playlist: