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Under Armour has presented the spacesuits that Virgin Galactic astronauts will wear on flights to the edge of space.
Billionaire and innovator Richard Branson’s space tourism start-up, Virgin Galactic, space tourism seems to be only a few months away from its first commercial flight to space.
To prove its seriousness, the company unveiled its line of ‘Under Armour’-made spacesuits for passengers to come.
Jumpsuits are made in royal-blue and from lightweight “flight-grade” material that is designed in a way that keeps travelers pleasant as they speeding faster than 50 miles into the atmosphere (that’s more than three times the speed of sound). The fabric is made from special fibers that the company Under Armour says can help better control the passengers’ body temperature.
The Under Armour space gear contains a base layer, spacesuit, footwear, a training suit and a jacket.
At a press conference held on Wednesday, Branson decided to perform one of his famous PR stunts, with dancers wearing the spacesuits inside a zero-gravity simulation chamber. He also put on his spacesuit, because, after all, he will be the first Virgin Galactic’s traveler who will go out in space as soon as the company gets over with its test flights.
The commercial service is expected to begin already in 2020.
Suits Being ‘Ridiculously Comfortable’
Usually, no flight suit, even those worn by regular military pilots, is not known to be exactly – comfortable. However, Branson told CNN Business that he thinks his Under Armour suit is “ridiculously comfortable.” We only have to see will he have the same response after he finds himself in space without any gravity.
Under Armour is the company that regularly produces sports equipment for professional athletes but still, its directors said that they had a lot to learn in order to successfully design a whole outfit especially for spaceflight. First you have thousands of safety requirements that you must meet (inflammability and safety during exposure to the intense G forces).
Also, they opted that the suit will be as comfortable and looks nice as well. Its designer Nick Cienski said he was inspired by “Battlestar Galactica” and other sci-fi TV shows and movies.
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said:
“Going to space presents an entirely new challenge for us. We’ve had to put a dedicated team at the very best at Under Armour that’s been working day and night.”
‘Flat – Earthers’ Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
The company also went on to discover what its travelers will have to undergo when on Galactic’s rocket-powered plane, called SpaceShipTwo, that is supposed to fly to above 40,000 feet while at the same time it will be tied to a massive mothership. Then, at some time, the space plane will disengage, turn on its engine and descend straight up with two pilots at the controls. At the top of the flight, travelers will be able to undergo a few minutes of weightlessness and could watch the Earth’s curved horizon and the darkness of outer space.
More than 600 people already have reserved tickets to ride aboard a Virgin Galactic flight, at prices up to only $250,000 per head.
From takeoff to landing, the whole mission will be less than two hours.
Under Armour Stock
But while the space topic in this context is quite obvious, will the stock of Under Armour Inc go to space as well? The time will show.
At the time of writing, stocks of Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UAA) were slightly falling at the premarket by 0.74% to $20.25. However, they demonstrate gains of 12% on a YoY basis and the company’s cooperation with Branson gives a lot of hopes to investors.