NASA’s Apollo 10 astronauts heard some “outer-space-type music” on the far side of the Moon in 1969. This mysterious incident is highlighted in the season three premiere Science Channel’s NASA’s Unexplained Files.
The Science Channel posted clips from this episode on February 22, which, surprisingly, caused a flood of news stories about the alien Moon music. Some media outlets claim this is a newly discovered incident kept secret by NASA until recently–a claim intentionally fueled by the conspiratorial tone of NASA’s Unexplained Files.
The incident is in the spotlight, thanks to the Science Channel. But it’s not a newly declassified secret. Apollo 10’s Lunar Module recording of this incident has been available to the public through the US National Archives and Records Administration since 1973. And NASA even made it available on its website in 2012.
So what about the “music” itself?
As spaceflight historian Amy Shira Teitel, who talks about this story on the premiere episode of NASA’s Unexplained Files, points out, the astronauts themselves weren’t all that fazed by the strange sounds. And command module pilot John Young even offered a suggestion to explain it. Teitel explains:
The crew was obviously curious and maybe just a little weirded out by the eerie sounds coming in through their headsets, enough to mention it to each other. But none of the men was so concerned that he lost focus on the task at hand. The transcript shows their procedural conversation is peppered with a few mentions of the eerie sounds, but they also continued photographing craters on the Moon, checking their flight plan against the upcoming moment they would reacquire communications with Houston, and ate some brownies and grape juice. And Young quickly solves the mystery. He points out to his crew mates that it’s probably nothing more than radio interference between the two spacecraft, which is all that it was.
You can read the transcript over at Popular Science. And watch the video at the top of this post to hear Teitel’s summary of this weird tale of music in space.
Season three of NASA’s Unexplained Files premieres Tuesday, February 23 on the Science Channel.