The song banned by NASA

Astronauts don’t have days and nights like we do on earth, so they need some help regulating their sleep. Turns out, it takes a whole team of engineers down on earth to rouse NASA’s elite from their slumbers. In this Popcast, hear about the NASA tradition of “wake up songs” from Mission Control, including the one song that went too far.

Written and produced by Eliza Smith, narrated by Eliza Smith and Jacob Winik, with editorial help from Emily Saltz. Listen to more audio from the NASA Collection on Pop Up Archive, or read Terry Watson’s fan letter to “The Ledge.”

Have a Happy Russian Cosmonaut Day with Pop Up’s NASA Audio


On April 12th 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space while flying aboard the Vostok spacecraft. The Russian cosmonaut’s feat is honored internationally to this day. 

You can spot Gagarin’s name in the auto-transcripts in the NASA audio collection on Pop Up Archive. The collection features everything from flight simulations to space education programs for Boy Scouts. 

One highlight: listen to this amazing conversation call from President Obama to Commander Scott Altman on the Atlantis space shuttle servicing the Hubble Telescope: 

Check out the whole NASA audio collection right here!