Virgin Galactic and Under Armour Unveil Spacesuits for the World’s First Commercial Space Pilots
The new spacesuits were designed in collaboration with the company’s Technical Spacewear Partner Under Armour and the Virgin Galactic’s Pilot Corps will wear the spacesuit and footwear on future flights.
On Friday (December 4, 2020) Virgin Galactic unveiled the new spacesuits for the world’s first commercial spaceflight Pilot Corps. The new spacesuit and footwear were designed in collaboration with the company’s Technical Spacewear Partner, Under Armour, and the spacesuit and footwear will be worn by Virgin Galactic’s Pilot Corps on future flights. The first human spaceflight from New Mexico is expected to take place this month, with the flight window opening on December 11th, and the new spacesuits will be worn by Chief Pilot Dave Mackay and Pilot C.J. Sturckow. The new Under Armour astronaut apparel joins the previously unveiled Spacewear System that Virgin Galactic Future Astronaut customers will wear. In Friday’s announcement, Under Armour’s SVP of Material Manufacturing and Innovation, Randall Howard, said,
“A pilot’s flights suit has been refined over the decades to embody a certain undeniable look and function, but they also have to perform beyond expectations. 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.”
Also commenting on the new spacesuits, Virgin Galactic’s Chief Pilot, Dave Mackay, added,
“It’s a real honor for all of us in the Virgin Galactic Pilot Corps to wear these spacesuits. The thoughtfulness of the design ensures the suits are not only comfortable and practical, but also bespoke to each pilot. As soon as you step into the suit, you immediately get a sense of the significance of the mission. I’m very much looking forward to wearing my own spacesuit during New Mexico’s first human spaceflight later this month and then many times in the future as we share the wonder of space with our Future Astronauts.”
The lightweight spacesuit weighs just over 1 kg. and consists of flight-grade fabrics to ensure it is robust. The suit has been optimized for all stages of flights and the knotted fabrics also help to regulate body temperature, whether outside in New Mexico or during each flight phase. Although a common color palette for crew and customers accentuate the fact that they are all part of one crew, the pilot’s spacesuits are differentiated with the addition of black to set them apart. Each suit is personally tailored for optimal fit and features the pilot’s embroidered name and a place for their commercial astronaut wings.
Source: Virgin Galactic