Virgin Galactic has unveiled the spacesuits worn by space-tourists aboard its private trips next year.
The “exclusive spacewear system” was designed in partnership with Under Armour and will be worn by Virgin Galactic boss Richard Branson when he takes flight in 2020.
His wacky space venture plans to charge $260,000 a ticket to launch passengers from a New Mexico spaceport.
Paid-up space tourists will be blasted into orbit aboard the VSS Unity Space Plane, before safely returning to Earth.
And they’ll all have to don Virgin Galactic’s new base layer, spacesuit, footwear and training suit.
“Virgin Galactic gave us an exciting challenge to build the world’s first commercial spacesuit,” said Under Armour chief Kevin Plank.
“Innovation is at the core of everything we do and our team delivered a unique twist on the classic spacesuit utilizing both existing and new UA technologies to define space gear for the future.
“It is an incredible opportunity to showcase our key performance innovations in space at the highest level and continue to push the limits of human performance.”
The two firms worked with a host of experts to design the suits.
This included doctors, astronaut trainers, pilots, designers, engineers and even Virgin Galactic customers.
It’s made from lightweight “flight-grade” fabrics, with cushioning in the elbows, knees and footwear.
This is “to provide safety in out-of-seat zero gravity.”
Virgin Galactic says that all of the materials have been rigorously tested in lab conditions, matching the environment at all stages of spaceflight.
And the new gear will also be worn by test-flight crews, ahead of the 2020 commercial flights.
The spacesuits will also be personally tailored for each astronaut, with country flags and name badges for the travelers.
There’s even a transparent pocket inside the flightsuit for “photographs of loved ones.”
“Spacesuits are a part of the iconography of the first space age,” said Richard Branson.
“Our visual impressions of human spaceflight and what astronauts wear are inextricably linked. Requirements for astronaut spacewear as we enter the second space age are evolving, but the design challenge has not diminished.”
“We were delighted when Kevin and Under Armour stepped up to this task and they have surpassed our expectations.
“I love the way the spacewear looks and I love the way it feels.”
“I also love the fact that the next time I put it on, I will be on my way to space.”
Over 600 people have already paid $82.6 million of deposits to the company to secure their tickets on the first spaceflights.
Back in August, Virgin Galactic showed off its Spaceport passenger lounge and mission control.
The glitzy structure includes two floors primarily focused on spaceflight operations and a further floor of communal spaces specifically designed for future customers.
As a result of the completion of the interior work, the company said the spaceport facility can now “support Virgin Galactic’s flight requirements.”
The company has said the communal area is specifically designed for astronauts to share their experience with pilots, rocket engineers and operatives from Mission Control.
If all goes to plan, space fans will be launched more than 50 miles above Earth – a point at which NASA defines travelers as astronauts.
Passengers will ride aboard SpaceShipTwo, a spaceplane designed to carry six passengers and two pilots.
It is carried aloft by a large airplane before breaking away and zooming to an altitude of about 62 miles.
With a hefty price tag of $250,000 a ticket, the 90-minute flight is being aimed at wealthy celebrities and thrillseekers, as well as researchers.
Branson has said that “ultimately” he would like to see the price fall as low as $40,000 over the next decade.