LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Virgin Galactic has revealed is spacesuits the company’s pilots will wear as they fly private astronauts to space. The suits were designed in collaboration with Virgin Galactic’s partner Under Armour.
Virgin Galactic reports its Pilot Corps will wear the spacesuits and footwear on upcoming flights, including the first human spaceflight from New Mexico, which is scheduled to take place in December. Chief Pilot Dave Mackay and Pilot CJ Sturckow will wear the suits on the December flight and are both members of the eight-person team in the Virgin Galactic Pilot Corps.
The suits are the latest in the Under Armour astronaut apparel that also includes the spacewear that future Virgin Galactic astronaut customers will wear for their spaceflights. In a press release from Virgin Galactic, the company states that the design team created a non-pressurized spacesuit that will support their task of flying regularly at over three times the speed of sound into space and back.
According to Virgin Galactic, each member of the Pilot Corps was involved in the design process, provided feedback, and wore test versions of the suits while completing different assignments. The suit is just over one kilogram, which is just over two pounds but is made up of flight-grade fabrics and is durable.
Virgin Galactic reports the spacesuit is optimized for comfort in all stages of flight and also helps to regulate body temperature. The company explains that while both the pilots and customers will be wearing blue as they are all part of one crew, the black on the pilot’s suits sets them apart and “is a reminder that the destination of each flight is the black sky of space”. The suits also include the Virgin Galactic pilot wings emblem with the front featuring the pilot’s name and placement for their commercial astronaut wings.
(images courtesy Quinn Tucker for Virgin Galactic)
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