They don’t do things by halves at Virgin Galactic, with plans to send paying punters into space there’s one important thing that’s very different to regular air travel – the clothing.
Working in collaboration with Virgin Galactic, Under Armour have designed a spacewear range that is “safe, functional and comfortable”.
Founder of UA Kevin Plank talks about the demands of space travel and the unique challenge it presents in designing clothing “At Under Armour, we pride ourselves on always getting better and leaning into innovation to drive progress for our athletes, but few things can prepare you for a project as challenging and exciting as this one. Spaceflight is a unique and demanding regime and requires a different approach. What we’ve engineered utilizing our key technologies will define the future of spacewear and puts us at the forefront of this history-making event. We are grateful to Richard and the incredible team at Virgin Galactic for trusting us with this groundbreaking challenge.”
The outfit for each traveller consists of three key components, the Base Layer, the spacesuit and the footwear.
The Base Layer is like a second skin – this uses Under Armour’s “UA RUSH” technology to enhance performance and blood flow during high G force and zero G portions of the flight. It’s made from “Intelliknit fabric” for “moisture and temperature managment”.
The Spacesuit is a deep space blue, with light blue elements and some pops of gold throughout
They say inspired by an image of the Sun in space, I say inspired by decades of spacesuits on TV shows and movies.
It’s complex stuff – read this from UA themselves:
“The liner of the spacesuit incorporates other new fabrics, like Tencel Luxe, SpinIt and Nomex, used for temperature control and moisture management, as Future Astronauts may experience a spectrum of temperatures throughout their journey. UA integrated all of the brand’s performance fabrics – cooling, smooth, fast-drying, moisture-managing, comfortable and safe – to ensure the Future Astronaut has the most comfortable experience possible. An important part of the suit construction included functional features such as multiple pockets for necessary and personal items including an integrated solution for communications, with a push-to-talk button. Each spacesuit iteration underwent rigorous testing with key stakeholders in the VG team including pilots, spaceship engineers, medical officers, astronaut instructors and the customer experience team to ensure it would outperform in-flight expectations.”
Footwear looks the part too – My first thought was it looked like the boots racing drivers wear – turns out, that’s spot on, there was some inspiration taken from racing footwear along with UA’s most cutting edge shoe technology.
My only issue is that it’s all a bit fitting – so, perhaps us larger folk might look like big blue blobs:) . But hey, If I can afford to go to space, maybe I’ll drop a few Kgs in the leadup:)