Red Planet Fashion: Mars Colony Project Inspires Sportswear Line

Mars One Astronauts at Habitats Image
Artist's depiction of Mars One astronauts on the Red Planet. Mars One aims to land four people on the Red Planet in 2027. (Image credit: Bryan Versteeg/Mars One)

A private Mars colonization effort has inspired a new sportswear collection.

The Björn Borg fashion brand's upcoming Spring/Summer 2016 (SS16) show is a tribute to Mars One, a privately funded project that aims to land four people on the Red Planet in 2027 as the vanguard of a permanent colony.

The "SS16 show finds its inspiration in the love of mankind. Inspired by the project Mars One, we are making a tribute to the courage and the faith that these people show by going out to the unknown for the evolution of mankind," James Lee, head of design at Björn Borg, said in a statement. [Images of Mars One's Red Planet Colony Project]

"We are showing a strong fashion sportswear collection and confidently take on the ultimate challenge — training for Mars," Lee added.

SS16 will take place Aug. 24, during fashion week in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mars One is a nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands. In 2020, the group plans to launch an unmanned Mars lander to test out some of the technologies required for crewed missions, as well as a communications satellite that will set up shop in orbit around the Red Planet.

Additional robotic missions that lift off in 2022 and 2024 will continue to prepare the Martian ground for the arrival of the first astronauts, in 2027. If all goes according to plan, additional crewmembers will join these pioneers every two years. Mars One intends to pay the majority of the costs associated with these activities by staging a global media event around the process, from astronaut selection through the colonists' time on the Red Planet.

There are no plans to bring the Mars settlers back to Earth at the moment. But many people applied to become Mars One astronauts nonetheless — more than 200,000, according to representatives of the organization.

That initial applicant pool has been whittled down to 100 finalists, from which 24 Mars One astronauts will eventually be selected.

"Our candidates are modern-day explorers that are willing to accept the risks associated with going to Mars in order to live their dreams," Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp said in the same statement. "It will be an adventure that takes courage, skills and perseverance. We are extremely proud that our mission inspired Björn Borg for their upcoming fashion show."

The Björn Borg brand takes its name from the Swedish former tennis great. The brand sells products, the most prominent of which is underwear, online and via stores in a number of markets, most of them in Europe.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.