Star Trek-like: Virgin Galactic unveils commercial space suits

James Marshall
October 18, 2019

In 2013, the company raised the ticket pricing to $250,000 and now according to Virgin Galactic CEO Georgo Whitesides, space tourists should expect another raise in ticket price before commercial launches expect to begin in 2020. The collection includes the spacesuit, a training suit, footwear and even a limited edition jacket.

"I love the way the spacewear looks, and I love the way it feels", Virgin Galactic's billionaire founder, Richard Branson, said in a news release. While Virgin Galactic worked tirelessly to complete the flight test program of spaceship Unity, Under Armour was tasked with developing the spacewear system for the world's first commercial spaceline.

The Under Armour clothing line - which includes a base layer, a spacesuit that's really a beefed-up flight suit, and zippered flight boots - made its debut at a NY runway show, and will get its space premiere during test flights for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane. The suits were specifically produced for private astronauts, said the companies, and are "atmospheric light blue" with "deep space blue" elements.

Virgin Galactic is out to tackle space tourism.

Virgin Galactic consulted with astronaut trainers, pilots, doctors, stylists, and candlestick makers to design the "spacewear".

The outfits are made out of flight-grade fabrics with extra cushioning in the elbows, knees and feet. Temperature management, for example, is regulated by performance fibers and knit density, mapped to the body to provide flawless warmth and moisture management, while preventing overheating or chilling. The development process of UA Intelliknit is highly efficient and creates no material waste in the process - a testament to UA and Virgin Galactic's shared vision for a better, sustainable future. 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", he said. The Virgin Galactic flight DNA symbols are embedded along the spine, symbolizing the unity of the suit with the mission.

UA stated the outer portion of the jumpsuit is engineered for the altering temperatures of space flight.

Underneath, the second-skin base layer-which looks like something you'd see a well-heeled runner sporting-claims to enhance performance and blood flow in zero gravity. Country flags and name badges build on traditions of the past, while suit pockets dedicated to personal effects include an inside transparent pocket for photographs of loved ones, who will literally be close to the heart. This milestone will occur when Virgin Galactic merges with publicly traded shell company, Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings (SCH).

They were simply built using off-the-shelf Under Armour technologies and designed with comfort in mind.

He said he's frequently asked about the burgeoning athleisure market, "but what we keep coming back and saying is that we're going to push the pinnacle of performance and pushing human performance as far as it can go", Plank said. Branson affirmed he will retain his majority stake even after Virgin Galactic lists, saying he doesn't plan to sell his shares.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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