When astronauts Thomas Stafford, John Young and Eugene Cernan headed out to space on Apollo 10 to circle the moon in May 1969, they happened to hear some strange sounds.
The sounds lasted about an hour and were relayed to the station back in Houston. (See transcript of the text from that conversation, which was released in 2008.)
The actual sounds were released and appeared on the Science Channel’s new series “NASA’s Unexplained Files.” According to the program, the astronauts considered not even reporting them because they were afraid that nobody would believe them.
Don’t get too excited though, a NASA technician was interviewed for the program and had a reasonable explanation for the strange sounds, chalking it up to the noise of the radios in the lunar module and command module interfering with one another.
Of course, the Science Channel managed to find an astronaut to dispute this logical explanation and add to the “wow” effect.
As for the likely source of the sounds, Apollo 10 Lunar Module Pilot Gene Cernan told us on Monday, ‘I don’t remember that incident exciting me enough to take it seriously. It was probably just radio interference. Had we thought it was something other than that we would have briefed everyone after the flight. We never gave it another thought.’
The agency also reminds the public not to fall into the media hype since the Apollo 10 mission transcripts and audio have been publicly available since 1973. The only reason they were marked “Confidential” was because the country was in the height of the Space Race. The Apollo 10 audio clips were uploaded in 2012 (since there was no Internet back in 1969), but the mission’s audio recordings have been available at the National Archives since the early 1970s.
Have a listen and decide for yourself in the Science Channel’s videos below: