Richard Branson Reveals the Custom Spacesuits Virgin Galactic Passengers Will Wear (Video)
Virgin Galactic unveiled the uniform “private astronauts” will be wearing if they board a rocket to space next year.
The blue, monochromatic sets were made in partnership with Under Armour and are comprised of a base layer, spacesuit, footwear, training suit, and limited-edition astronaut jacket, reps for Virgin said in a statement.
“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,” Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, said. “Requirements for astronaut spacewear as we enter the second space age are evolving, but the design challenge has not diminished.”
Under Armour developed the spacesuits to withstand the tests of spaceflight. There’s extra cushioning in the elbows, knees, and footwear to provide extra protection during out-of-seat, zero gravity moments. They integrate perfectly with the seat harnesses and contours. And they were made to enhance internal temperature control, “regulated by performance fibers and knit density, mapped to the body to provide perfect warmth and moisture management, while preventing overheating or chilling,” according to the statement.
Each spacesuit will be personally tailored to each astronaut’s body. It will be emblazoned with their name and a patch of their country’s flag. Astronauts will also have transparent pockets on their chest where they will be able to keep photographs of loved ones. They will also receive a separate “training suit,” which they will wear the days before their spaceflight.
The suits were developed with feedback from doctors, astronaut trainers, pilots, engineers, clothing designers, and Virgin Galactic customers themselves.
“I love the way the spacewear looks and I love the way it feels,” Branson said in a statement. “I also love the fact that the next time I put it on, I will be on my way to space.”
Commercial Virgin Galactic flights are still expected to begin in 2020, according to the company. Spaceflight tickets cost an infamous $250,000 and have been purchased by the likes of Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio, amongst many others.