Curio: Quindar tones and talking in space

Overall view of the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center, Building 30, on the third day of the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. Seen on the television monitor is a picture of Earth which was telecast from the Apollo 8 spacecraft 176,000 miles away. Courtesy of NASA

If you’ve ever heard an old recording of a NASA space mission, then you’ve heard a Quindar tone. Those are the beeps that we hear behind the voices of mission control and astronauts orbiting space. Today we find out why these tones exist and how they’ve inspired a couple modern-day musicians.

This episode is the inaugural Brains On Curio – a shorter episode that we’re adding to our weekly feed. Today’s Curio features Mikael Jorgensen and James Merle Thomas, of the band Quindar. Listen in as they embrace some lesser-known historical NASA audio and turn it into music. Plus: a story from space that shows just how smart spiders are.

For more information about Quindar (the band), check out their website.