Re:sound #131: The Space Show

This hour: a one way mission to mars, a Russian cosmonaut's favorite music, the Voyager golden record, the sound of the northern lights, and more.

2010 / Roman Mars / Larry Massett / Charles Maynes / Patrick Holland / Gretchen Miller / Russell Stapleton / Jad Abumrad / Robert Krulwich / Barrett Golding / Delaney Hall / TCF / WBEZ 91.5, USA

This hour: a one way mission to mars, a Russian cosmonaut's favorite music, the Voyager golden record, the sound of the northern lights, and more.

One Way Ticket to Mars
by Roman Mars (Re:sound premiere, 2010)
Now that air travel is commonplace and even trips to the moon are a little passé, we've set our sights (and our space program) on Mars, which presents some very thorny problems. But there is one man who is not daunted by these obstacles, and one producer who is not daunted by telling his tale.

LBJ and the Helium Filled Astronaut
by Larry Massett (NPR's Lost and Found Sound, 1999)
Producer Larry Massett shares a beloved and oft-bootlegged piece of found sound. It's a rare recording of the President of the United States from 1964, speaking on the phone with an unexpectedly squeaky-voiced former astronaut.

Vyacheslav Mescherin's Orchestra of Elecro-Musical Instruments
by Charles Maynes (Podstantsiya, 2004)
It was the closest thing to Muzak in Russia. This is the story of the rise, fall, and sudden resurgence of the music that dominated television and radio airwaves and whose spacey sounds made it the favorite of the USSR's cosmonauts.

Star for Sale
by Patrick Holland, Gretchen Miller, and Russell Stapleton (City Nights, ABC, 2009)
A man visits a star auction and learns that not everything is for sale.

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan's Ultimate Mix Tape
by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich (Radiolab, 2006)
Back in the 1970s, NASA undertook a project to put together all kinds of different sounds, music, and languages on a record that they would then launch into space, hopefully to be found by another life form. But of all the languages and all the music and all the sounds in the entire world, what does one select to represent an entire planet? Author Ann Druyan and astrophysicist Carl Sagan were among the people tasked with making this momentous decision.

Listening to the Northern Lights
by Barrett Golding (NPR's Lost and Found Sound, 1999)
Field recordist Steve McGreevey captures the solar sounds of space weather and the northern lights (a.k.a. Natural Radio).

This episode of Re:sound was produced by Delaney Hall.

produced by

Roman Mars

Roman Mars (@romanmars) is the creator of 99% Invisible , a short radio show about design and architecture.

Charles Maynes

Charles Maynes is a contributing producer with the Foundation for Independent Radio Broadcasting (FNR), an NGO that works for the development of quality public programming in Russia.

Gretchen Miller

Gretchen Miller has loved found sound since she completed a Bachelor of Music in composition.

Russell Stapleton

Russell Stapleton is a sound engineer, producer and composer working for ABC Radio National.

Jad Abumrad

Jad Abumrad (@JadAbumrad), is a Peabody Award-winning producer and 2011 MacArthur Fellow, is the creator and co-host of WNYC's Radiolab .

Robert Krulwich

Robert Krulwich is a science correspondent for NPR and was the long-time co-host of Radiolab from WNYC.

Featured in

May we recommend…