It’s still hard to wrap our minds around the fact that commercial space tourism is set to open as early as next year. Recent major announcements detail what overnighting in space — aboard the International Space Station or a five-star luxury space hotel — might look like. Until now, however, it seems no one had been looking into what we’re going to wear once we make it into orbit. This month, in partnership with Virgin Galactic, Under Armour announced their answer to that all-important question.
At first glance, the UA|VG Spacesuit from Under Armour looks like little more than a sleek costume from the new Star Trek: Picard series. The company promises that it’s actually a sophisticated, multi-layered design that features UA’s highest-performance fabrics and technologies. Many have been developed in the last decade to tackle issues like temperature regulation, sweat management, and post-workout recovery. To design the base layer, for example, Under Armour repurposed its existing Rush Technology to maximize performance and enhance blood flow during the zero- and high-G forces that passengers will experience at lift-off, in orbit, and during reentry.
The secondary layer, the spacesuit itself, incorporates many of the same technologies to maximize comfort, safety, and mobility. The liner uses state-of-the-art fabrics like Tencel Luxe and Nomex (the same as Formula 1 drivers) to maintain body temperature and manage moisture. UA Clone, described by Under Armour as a “proprietary auxetic material,” is integrated into critical, articulated parts of the suit like the knees, elbows, and footwear. It’s designed to precisely conform to the shape of the human body for increased mobility in active situations. Multiple pockets are stitched into the suit’s exterior for stowing mission-critical items, and there’s even a built-in push-to-talk button connected to ship communications.
For the look of the UA|VG spacesuit, Under Armour opted for a deep, brilliant blue with lighter blue accents. Tasteful flashes of gold are a nod to the sun’s rays. A row of Virgin Galactic-related flight symbols traces the spine of the suit. Personalized touches include a clear pocket above the heart that holds a photo of a loved one and a patch that’s uniquely designed for each mission.
There’s no word on whether these will be the official suits worn by the first Virgin Galactic astronauts and space tourists. Richard Branson is no stranger to clever publicity stunts, and the announcement is a clear win for Under Armour’s image. So, whether development of these uniforms will come to fruition or this is merely a marketing ploy for the New Space Race remains to be seen.
If you’re already planning your first trip to space, be sure to start with an orbit-worthy carry-on like this Horizn One smart luggage from Horizn Studios.