Let the space remixing begin.
European Space Agency, your move.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in. If you want more, NASA centres all have archival libraries, and the agency has routinely worked with artists and composers to interpret the work they do. See also other research centers around the world. And yes, that’s my Saturn V photo at the top, because, and I’m sure this will come as a huge shock to everyone who reads this site, I’m a big nerd.
Have you made music with space sounds? Let us know in comments.
It’s slower to browse, but there’s an even bigger library on Archive.org.
They’re all marked public domain (which is almost certainly the correct license for the above, not Non-Commercial Creative Commons).
NASA also has a small page of sounds that seems to be the basis of the above, but the Archive.org collection is bigger.
The European Space Agency has its own set of sounds, though like NASA, ESA could do some more archival work! (Some of these come from NASA, too.)
The University of Iowa has a selection of space sounds:
The “space sounds” phenomenon here is fascinating: these are radio emissions, but in the audible spectrum – that is, there’s no remapping. You’re listening to a direct recording of those radio signals at their real frequencies, which happen to be ones you can hear. NASA explains how Iowa’s instruments work:
This same technique is the topic of a TED talk (as Professor Donald Gurnett had championed at Iowa):
Artist-technologist Honor Harger listens to the weird and wonderful noises of stars and planets and pulsars. In her work, she tracks the radio waves emitted by ancient celestial objects and turns them into sound, including “the oldest song you will ever hear,” the sound of cosmic rays left over from the Big Bang.