The US space agency NASA has uploaded to the internet the audio recordings of more than 60 historic moments from its exploration of space. It's part of a project aimed at growing it's online audience for space-related information.

From Neil Armstrong's first step onto the moon to the iconic "Houston, we've had a problem," NASA has sourced and now uploaded to the website Soundcloud, dozens of clips from its archives.

They include the sounds of the space shuttle launching eerie recordings of the solar system and audio quotes from NASA astronauts.

"The recorded sounds let us fly along with Sputnik," says Dr Francisco Diego, a Senior Research Fellow at University College London. "We can land again on the moon and experience the drama and the success of one of the greatest human adventures ever."

The files are in the public domain, like most of NASA's content. This means they can be downloaded for free and re-used.

NASA has also provided a link to another format which will let people use the clips as ringtones for their phones.

"You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong's ‘one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind’ every time you get a phone call, if you make our sounds your ringtone," the space agency said.

The project is part of NASA efforts to develop and engage an audience for its activities through social media. The agency has almost 500 social media accounts. Its primary twitter account has over 7 million followers. Along with the sound library NASA has an extensive picture collection, which is also available for free.

"NASA's Soundcloud is a lovely idea that brings wider perspectives and inspiration to the 21st-century generations that will explore our universe in ways that we cannot even imagine," says Diego.