“A reliable helmet for the Apollo 11 mission”
A few days ago, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Indeed, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon during the famous mission Apollo 11. A world first, which will forever be etched in history. The perfect opportunity for the manufacturer of audio headphones Plantronics to recall its role in this event.
” It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. “. When he set foot on the Moon, this first sentence uttered by the astronaut was transmitted via a helmet Plantronics MS50. This helmet was composed of a microphone and receivers allowing Neil Armstrong to remain in permanent communication with his interlocutors. It is a real gem of technology for the time! The helmet is also embedded in the headgear called ” Snoopy Beanie » for an all-round hold.
“Plantronics, official supplier of the FAA”
Yes Plantronics is recognized for its consumer audio headsets, its products are basically specially designed for communication. In 1961, Californian airline pilots Courtney Graham and Keith Larkin developed an ultra-lightweight headset that better suited their business needs. the Plantronics MS50 was born ! Thanks to the success of the helmet, the manufacturer is chosen as the official supplier for the Federal Aviation Agency. The objective was to replace the handheld microphones in the cockpits. The brand’s helmets were at that time worn by office workers, aviators and astronauts…
“Self-power and noise reduction system”
Indeed, as early as 1962, the Plantronics MS50 arrives in the helmets of the astronauts. Following the technical problems of the second mission Mercury, the NASA is therefore turning to new communication systems. It only took Plantronics and NASA eleven days to revisit this headset and integrate it into their equipment. More reliable and longer range, it allows you to stay in constant contact with the astronauts.
To eliminate the risk of a spark due to a malfunction, the headset was self-powered thanks to the energy delivered by the sound of the voice. The manufacturer had also already thought of equipping its helmet with a system for reducing ambient noise. In addition to the Apollo 11 mission, the helmet was also worn by the greatest astronauts during missions Gemini and skylab. Available in various forms, the Plantronics MS50 will be used for 40 years by commercial aviation with the approval of the Federal Aviation Agency.
“A benchmark in the consumer helmet sector”
The sale of these helmets notably enabled the company to accumulate capital to diversify into audio helmets intended for the general public. Their current products include sports helmets, from true wireless headsets, from in-ear headphones discreet and over-ear headphones having nothing to envy to the competition in their price range. They are all available at BH.com, as well as in the stores of Paris 11, Paris 17 and Boulogne.
Plantronics is therefore the typical case of a brand of audio products that made its debut in communication systems. Be that as it may, the brand is now a reference in terms of multi-use helmets with an excellent price/performance ratio. Note that it is possible to find an exact replica of the helmet Plantronics MS50 in a gallery of the Science Museum in London.