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50 years since that small step for a man giant leap for

first_imgNew Delhi: “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 the 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 the Earth to the Moon, and back again. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangThe “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. Also Read – Want to bring back US forces engaged in endless wars: TrumpThat innovation set the stage for designing headsets for one of the longest flights at the time — from the Earth to the Moon. NASA chose Santa Cruz-based Plantronics because of their ability to produce light-weight 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. On July 13, Joe Burton, president and CEO, Poly, joined Dr Aldrin and Charlie Duke — known as the “voice of Mission Control” for Apollo 11 — in delivering remarks to honour the epic achievement of the lunar landing. “As a company, we take great pride in knowing that our headset helped carry those historic words from the moon back to millions of people on earth, giving the world a chance to share in the success of the Apollo 11 mission and its heroes,” said Burton. Meanwhile, Google on Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the historic first Moon-landing by NASA’s Apollo 11 mission with an interactive video doodle. The Doodle celebrates the epic moment in the history of mankind by taking viewers through the journey to the Moon and back, narrated by Apollo 11 mission astronaut Michael Collins, who is famous for orbiting the Moon in solitude While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin maneuvered the lunar module to the surface, Collins remained in orbit, manning the command module. He did not witness the landing; his spacecraft sped on after he dropped off the two other astronauts. Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle. Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16, and was the fifth crewed mission of NASA’s Apollo programme. Explaining the journey to the Moon and back in the video, Collins says that NASA worked with three antennas around the Earth for the mission — one in Spain, Australia and California each. He says at the time, the astronauts thought their computers were “very sophisticated but in fact they had less computing powers than what we carry in our pockets today.” In the doodle video, Collins, 88, describes the first sight of the Moon up close as “a magnificent spectacle.” “The Sun was coming around it, cascading and making a golden halo. But it was nothing compared to the sight of the tiny Earth. The Earth was the main show,” Collins says.last_img read more