What does the International Space Station sound like?

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is beaming sounds from the ISS, including an original tune on guitar and the tones of a toilet starting.

Can you hear me, Major Tom? Hadfield rocks out in the ISS cupola. Canadian Space Agency

If you're heading to the International Space Station, try to bunk in the Japanese section. It's as quiet as a Zen temple.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recently went aboard the ISS and has been recording what it sounds like. It's not quite the elegant "2001: A Space Odyssey" experience you might expect. It's more like a noisy tin can.

After recording last week the ambient sounds of the U.S. lab, with its noisy air pumps and fans, Hadfield managed to get samples of what the ISS toilet sounds like, as well as the relative serenity of the Japanese Experiment Module (aka Kibo ).

Check them out below, or listen to a larger selection here.

Hadfield has been very busy taking some amazing photos of Earth, updating his Facebook status, and performing the odd astro-duty like running experiments.

A couple of days ago, he received a message on Twitter from William Shatner, who asked whether he was tweeting from space.

"Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain," Hadfield replied. "And we're detecting signs of life on the surface."

That gave Trekkies, including yours truly, tribble-like quivers of delight.

Inspired by the view from the ISS cupola, the mustachioed commander of Expedition 35 grabbed a guitar and recorded an original tune, a first for the station. He titled it "Jewel in the Night" and uploaded it to YouTube. Give it a listen below.

It doesn't have the makings of a space classic like "Rocket Man" (the Shat version, of course), but it's heartfelt and quite a bit better than Spock's "Maiden Wine."

And likely a welcome relief for crewmates from all that high-tech racket.






 

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