The date for the first commercial space flight in the world is not even confirmed yet, but Star Trek-like outfits of future passengers are ready and waiting. On Wednesday, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson introduced the custom suits which will be worn by the first private astronauts.
The British billionaire donned the personalized royal blue suit which he plans to wear during his company’s inaugural flight – in 2020. Branson explained that spacesuits were a part of the iconography of the first space age and their visual impressions of human spaceflight and what astronauts wear were inextricably linked. He loved the way the space wear looked as well as the way it felt.
Under Armour president Kevin Plank said the creators of the suits approached the design the same way they thought about clothing for extreme sports.
The material for the suits, boots, and undergarments was chosen for their ability to assist the body’s temperature and moisture regulation. A transparent interior pocket was added to help space-exploring customers keep pictures of their loved ones.
They are designed so wearers can perfectly fit into the spacecraft’s seats. Each space tourist will get their own custom suit which they can take home with them back on Earth, along with a label of their name and their country’s flag.
“It is a new stage which we are involved in and we are also closer still,” he said. “But we are still patient, we can wait.” Virgin Galactic, founded in 2004, has spent years developing its space program, and in 2014, after a fatal accident, it has twice crossed the barrier into the final frontier.
However, the company has not yet piloted a space flight with clients on board. It plans to offer weightless flights to 6 passengers at a time, at USD 250,000 a ticket for the first customers.