NEW DELHI, July 19 - �That�s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.� As Commander Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon on July 20, 1969, his �Plantronics MS50� headset helped transmit these historic words to Earth.
When the world�s powers were in a race to space in the 1960s, NASA approached Plantronics (now Poly) with a seemingly impossible task � create a lightweight communication headset that would allow astronauts to communicate with the mission control from Earth to the Moon, and back again.
The �Plantronics MS50� headset formed the hardware portion of the iconic Communications Carrier Assembly (CCA) � known as the �Snoopy� cap � worn by Armstrong, Edwin �Buzz� Aldrin and Michael Collins, providing the headband component, microphones and receivers.
The Plantronics headsets, produced in just 11 days, resulted in a long-lasting partnership with NASA that spanned more than 25 missions into space.
Plantronics was founded by two pilots who wanted to create a lighter headset for use by pilots on long-haul flights.
That innovation set the stage for designing headsets for one of the longest flights at the time � from Earth to the Moon.
NASA chose Santa Cruz-based Plantronics because of their ability to produce lightweight headsets that were also very reliable.
The �MS50� aviation headset was first released by Plantronics in 1962. The same technology was used in the astronaut�s headsets as well as the headsets used within mission control facilities around the globe.
The technology was then used in the development of the �StarSet� headset.
The �MS50� and �StarSet� headsets remain in production today. While �MS50� is a popular choice of pilots flying commercial aircraft, the �StarSet� is the headset used by air-traffic controllers. � IANS