Science

Virgin Galactic Unveils Custom Under Armour Spacewear

Virgin Galactic Unveils Custom Under Armour Spacewear”

Palihapitiya sees Virgin Galactic as "a business that has software-like margins", telling CNBC in July that he believes there is a "really compelling risk-reward" behind space tourism.

The royal blue jumpsuits are made of lightweight "flight-grade" fabric created to keep customers comfortable as they hurtle more than 50 miles into the atmosphere at up to three times the speed of sound.

Under Armour specifically focused on performance aspects like temperature and moisture management.

In January 2019, Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson and Under Armour CEO and Founder Kevin Plank announced a collaboration which saw Under Armour (UA) become Virgin Galactic's Technical Spacewear Partner.

While Under Armour introduced the gear as space wear "for the masses", Virgin Galactic flights are anything but. The bottoms are made of yarn in order to squeeze astronauts' legs and keep the blood flow above the waist."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".

Today's announcement came just a day after NASA debuted the space suits set to be worn by the first woman on the moon. Spaceflight is a unique and demanding regime and requires a different approach.

Virgin Galactic had widely been expected to go public without resorting to an IPO within the fourth quarter. 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.

Beth Moses, chief astronaut instructor and interiors program manager for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo operations, said a key difference between these suits and suits of the past is that these aren't necessarily designed for a task.

The space venture company revealed that Under Armour's spacewear was developed under the guidance of expert pilots, astronaut trainers, stylists, and even doctors.

It integrates push-to-talk communication systems, temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking fibers, and cushioning at the elbows, knees, shoulders, and neck.

Even if you're not planning to fly with Virgin Galactic, there may be a chance to get in on the fashion look: Under Armour is planning to market consumer versions of the spacewear and footwear sometime in the future.

What's more, each spacesuit will be tailored to each astronaut.

Under Armour also built in suit pockets with a transparent cover for storing personal items like "photographs of loved ones, who will literally be close to the heart", according to the press release. Great care has also been taken to ensure the spacewear design is fully woven into cabin design, in particular with the spaceship's seats where integration with harnesses and seat contours ensures comfort, particularly during the high G portions of flight. When asked on stage when else she'd wear it she said, "Every Halloween for the rest of my life, obviously". Requirements for astronaut spacewear as we enter the second space age are evolving, but the design challenge has not diminished.

Here's a spacesuit with gold detailing. Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides has said operations could actually start in spring 2020.



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