In the news today, are reports of "outer-space-type music" that the Apollo 10 crew heard.

From the mission transcript (page 197 of the PDF):

CDR Commander Thomas P. Stafford
CMP Command module p_lot John W. Young
LMP Lunar module pilot Eugene A. Cernan
SC Unidentifiable crewmembcr
CC Capsule communicator (CAP COMM)

04 06 13 02 LMP That music even sounds outer-spaeey, doesn't it?
You hear that? That whistling sound?
04 06 13 06 CDR Yes.
04 06 13 07 _4P Who0ooooo. Say your - -
04 06 13 12 CMP Did you hear that whistling sound, too?
04 06 13 14 _P Yes. Sounds like - you know, outer-space-type
04 06 13 18 _4P I wonder what it is.

NASA's explanation of this sound is that the radios on the command module and lunar module were interfering with one another. Cassini also had a similar experience, and that was explained as charged particles moving through the magnetic environment around Saturn creating distortions in ways that cause those odd sounds.

Have either of these "problems" been corrected with newer space craft or is such interference rare enough that it's not actually a problem?

  • $\begingroup$ Are they sure they weren't hearing the naturally occurring ULF/VLF signals caused by lightning strikes (i.e., lightning whistler waves)? Those sound very "outer-spacey" and they certainly sound like whistling (thus the name). $\endgroup$ Feb 22 '16 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ Apollo 10? Pretty sure they weren't. The news reports say they were on the other side of the moon and out of radio contact when this was heard. $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    Feb 22 '16 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ Similar wave modes were detected at the moon by the ARTEMIS spacecraft, though at a much lower frequency... Hmm... if they had heard whistlers near the moon it would have sounded like a male African lion (these were originally called lion roars). So perhaps my initial suspicion was incorrect. $\endgroup$ Feb 22 '16 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ space.com/… gives the raw audio output. $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Feb 22 '16 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ Would not surprise me if the noise came from RF leakage from the flight computer, digital display, or perhaps radar systems. All of them will emit either intentionally or incidentally repeating signals at some frequency which could be picked up in either an RF band or perhaps an intermediate frequency in an analog voice channel radio. Practical example: I remember holding a pocket calculator (with an LED display) over an AM radio and listening to the noises it would generate and change with the content of the display. $\endgroup$
    – Anthony X
    Feb 23 '16 at 1:38

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