NASA Releases Historical Sound Bites As Ringtones

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Space buffs like me are sure to get a kick out of this one: NASA has released a score of historical sound bites from the space program for use as ringtones or system sounds.

I ask you, what could be more appropriate to herald an error on your PC than Jack Swigert’s “Houston, we have a problem” from Apollo 13? Or, alternately, what better way to celebrate a successful boot than listening to the ground crew celebrate Apollo 11’s liftoff?

The sounds on offer range from bizarre (like Saturn: Radio Emissions #1) to funny (the guys on Apollo 12 really had a sense of humor) to heartwarming (think Apollo 8’s “Merry Christmas” to the planet earth).

While I appreciate NASA doing a solid for all us smartphone users, and as cool as it is to have snippets of history on your phone, only a few of the sounds really have what I call “ringtone potential.” The Sputnik beep? Sure, why not. Sally Ride comparing her first shuttle launch to a ride at Disneyland? Not so much.

In an effort to be as platform-agnostic as possible, all the sounds are available as MP3s and M4Rs. Android users have an easier time of things here, as all they need to do is download (or update) the NASA App from the Android Market.