PWOPPP, Click! This Is What Spaceships Sound Like When They're Docking

Barry White optional.
More
[optional image description]
Bow-chicka-bow-wow! The Soyuz spacecraft docked to the International Space Station during a mission of Russian cosmonauts in August 2012 (Reuters)

When two spaceships love each other very much ...

Just kidding. Sort of. But late Thursday night, high above the planet, two orbiting spacecraft -- the Soyuz capsule, carrying three astronauts, and the International Space Station -- got to know each other. Under the stars. As the Earth moved below them.

The Soyuz, in other words, docked with the ISS. And Chris Hadfield, astronaut and current denizen of the orbiting laboratory, was there to record the occasion. He was decent enough not to film actual video of the proceedings, but Hadfield did capture audio of the docking: a low-humming buzz -- the typical, tinny soundtrack of the station -- followed by a sucking noise, and a low-but-sharp "pwoppp," and a click when the deed was done. The ISS shook just a little, Hadfield notes, as it adjusted to the gravitational tug of the new craft that had just attached to it. Make your own jokes about that one.

Here's Hadfield's recording. The docking itself takes place at second 12.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In