Fashion and Technology merge with the New York showing of Virgin Galactic’s spacesuits that commercial passengers like you and I will have to wear when the flights launch and take off next year! In possibly a runway first, the spacewear system was unveiled in a zero gravity, vertical catwalk led by Sir Richard Branson himself.
“Spacesuits are a part of the iconography of the first space age; our visual impressions of human spaceflight and what astronauts wear are inextricably linked. Requirements for astronaut spacewear as we enter the second space age are evolving, but the design challenge has not diminished. We were delighted when Kevin and Under Armour stepped up to this task and they have surpassed our expectations. I love the way the spacewear looks and I love the way it feels. I also love the fact that the next time I put it on, I will be on my way to space.” Richard Branson said,
From the initial brief through to final fabrication, the suit design concepts were defined through inputs from a wide variety of experts, including doctors, astronaut trainers, pilots, apparel and footwear designers, engineers and Future Astronaut customers, to fully understand and address all requirements.
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. Under Armour (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.
Cover Image: Steven Counts / Getty Images