virgin galactic has partnered with under armour to create the spacesuits its pilots will wear as they fly private astronauts to space. the spacesuit and footwear are set to be used for the first time on the company’s first human spaceflight from new mexico, which is due to take place this month, with the flight window opening on december 11, 2020. to create the suits, members of the pilot corps were heavily involved, providing feedback and wearing test versions while completing assignments.
images by virgin galactic
the designs we present here are the latest additions to the astronaut apparel collection created by virgin galactic with under armour which was first unveiled last year. for the pilot’s suit, the design team followed a brief to create a non-pressurized spacesuit which not only aesthetically conveys the pilots’ role in the space mission, but which also practically supports their unique task of flying regularly over three times the speed of sound into space and back.
‘a pilot’s flight suit has been refined over the decades to embody a certain undeniable look and function, but they also have to perform beyond expectations,’ randall harward, under armour’s SVP of material and manufacturing innovation says. ‘we took that as a starting point and built in all of the under armour solutions we’ve developed for comfort, support, movement and temperature management. our goal was to build a suit that leaves a pilot – like any athlete – feeling confident and with zero distractions during a critical moment of performance. it’s been a fascinating journey.’
safety and comfort were the key criteria used to choose materials. the spacesuit is lightweight — just over 1 kg — and consists of flight-grade fabrics that ensure it’s robust and strong. the suit is optimized for comfort in all stages of flight: whether during boost, when forces press the pilots backwards into their seats, or in zero gravity where cushioning on the shoulders provides comfort as polite are help in positions by seat straps. the knitted fabrics help regulate body temperature, even in conditions are extreme.
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each suit has been tailored to the pilot, ensuring an optimum fit and comfort. the front features the pilot’s embroidered name and a placement for their commercial astronaut wings. a common color palette accentuates the fact that pilots and customers are all part of the crew. a black addition distinguishes the pilots from the rest of the crew.
created by: virgin galactic and under armour
juliana neira I designboom
dec 07, 2020
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