Virgin Galactic has unveiled its new spacesuits that passengers will wear as they rocket into outer space.
Richard Branson, the founder and CEO of Virgin Group, initially announced a partnership with Under Armor last January to create a new line of space fashion for their upcoming space tourism company, Virgin Galactic. Ten months later and we now get to see what this strange partnership has wrought.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the overall look of the Virgin Galactic spacesuits seems to have been taken from Star Trek. Not the earlier series, but the somewhat later Enterprise, which took place earlier in the fictional timeline. Just like in the show, they're one-piece blue jumpsuits with badges on the shoulders.
However, they're not just jumpsuits. There's the outer layer designed for use during the actual launch, and there's also a base layer, footwear, a training suit, and a Limited Edition astronaut jacket.
Virgin says that the new suits and spacewear were all designed with the help of space experts, including doctors, astronaut trainers, pilots, and engineers. It's made from lightweight flight-grade fabrics designed to offer the perfect mix of comfort and protection, with cushioning in the elbows, knees, and footwear for when passengers are floating around in zero gravity.
Each suit has already been tested on board the VSS Unity’s crewed spaceflights earlier this year, so we know for sure they work. Not that there was much doubt--each passenger stays safely inside a pressurized spacecraft, so there's no need for the bulky outerwear that astronauts need to wear to protect them from the black abyss of space.
Also, each suit will be specifically tailored to each individual passenger and include name and country badges just like astronauts on their way to the international space station. There's even a small transparent pocket inside the suit where you can keep pictures of loved ones. Y'know, in case the space ship explodes or something.
"I love the way the spacewear looks and I love the way it feels," said Richard Branson in a statement. "I also love the fact that the next time I put it on, I will be on my way to space.”
Virgin Galactic plans to start operation in 2020, with tickets to space priced at $250,000 a seat.