I was just watching a video of two astronauts doing an EVA on ISS to install some things. As I saw how they moved around the outside of the ISS using handrails and other things to grab, I was wondering whether people inside the ISS can actually hear their outside colleagues bumping against the metal or any other sounds that are caused by the astronauts on the outside?

As far as I know, the inside of ISS can be quite noisy so I guess most sounds caused by the spacewalkers are probably drowned by the inside noise. But maybe sounds when using tools (e.g. to tighten or loosen screw s) may be heard inside?

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    $\begingroup$ We know people inside the ISS can hear micrometeoroid impacts on the structure. That suggests other noises should be audible too. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 6:25

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can hear the noise of anything that hits the outside of the ISS, because from that point there is no vacuum - vibration is passed to the inside of the ISS where it is audible. This is all reasonably self-evident.

This includes micrometeoroid impacts, as Hobbes mentioned, but also noises from crew members moving on EVA, their tools and anything else.

As Garett Reisman, a former NASA Astronaut, commented:

As an EVA is in progress, you can hear the spacewalkers bumping and clanging along as your crewmates translate on the exterior of your module. It sounds kind of like ghosts in the attic dragging chains


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