Virgin Galactic Boldly Goes with Under Armour for Suborbital Spacesuits

Under Armour is now in the spacesuit business.

The Baltimore-based apparel outfit will design the gear worn by passengers and pilots on Virgin Galactic's suborbital spaceflights, representatives of both companies announced today (Jan. 24).

"The partnership will also see Under Armour create uniforms for Virgin Galactic's world-class team at Spaceport America in New Mexico," Virgin Galactic representatives wrote in a statement. "Whether engineers, astronaut trainers and hosts, or mission control operatives, each member of the Virgin Galactic team will be wearing Under Armour apparel specifically chosen to enhance performance and to provide a tangible sense of shared purpose." [In Photos: Virgin Galactic Soars to Space in 4th Powered Test]

Virgin Galactic will send customers on brief trips to suborbital space aboard its two-pilot, six-passenger SpaceShipTwo vehicle. The spaceliner is carried aloft by a modified airplane, then powers its way upward after being dropped at an altitude of about 50,000 feet (15,000 meters).

Virgin Galactic's Sir Richard Branson (right) and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank review possible apparel designs for Virgin Galactic customers and crewmembers.
(Image: © Virgin Galactic/Under Armour 2019)

The latest SpaceShipTwo, known as VSS Unity, made its first trip to space last month on a rocket-powered test flight. Commercial operations could begin by the middle of this year if testing continues to go well, Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson said recently.

Branson plans to be on that milestone mission, whenever it occurs. And we should get our first look at the Virgin Galactic spacesuit right around that time.

"The full range of apparel and footwear is set to be revealed later this year, ahead of Richard Branson's inaugural commercial flight," Virgin Galactic representatives wrote in the same statement.

Under Armour will make spacesuits and other apparel for Virgin Galactic's suborbital spaceflights, the companies announced on Jan. 24, 2019.
(Image: © Virgin Galactic/Under Armour 2019)

More than 600 people have reserved seats aboard SpaceShipTwo. A ticket currently costs $250,000, but Virgin Galactic hopes to bring the price down significantly over time.

Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate) is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us @Spacedotcom or Facebook. Originally published on Space.com

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