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This Is Richard Branson Wearing a Blue Under Armour Spacesuit

It’s fashion week for space exploration, it seems, after both NASA and Virgin Galactic revealed their latest creations in terms of astronaut apparel this week. But whereas NASA suits have been around before, albeit not as advanced, Virgin’s mark a premiere: they are the first collection of clothes designed specifically for private astronauts.
Richard Branson and the blue spacesuit 6 photos
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The pieces are the result of a partnership signed by Virgin at the beginning of the year with American apparel behemoth Under Armour. The collection revealed this week comprises a base layer, spacesuit, footwear, training suit, and limited edition astronaut jacket.

Regardless of the piece, each has been designed after receiving input from people even remotely connected to the industry, from doctors to actual pilots. They are made from lightweight flight-grade fabrics and feature cushioning in elbows, knees and in the footwear.

If the suit presented by Virgin’s Richard Branson himself looks a bit flimsy’s compared to NASA’s Orion Crew Survival System, that’s because it doesn’t need to be more than that.

Virgin’s spaceship launches horizontally from the underbelly of an airplane, thus eliminating the need to have people endure the extreme Gs associated with vertical takeoffs.

They are also not to be used very long, as a flight to space onboard a Virgin spaceship will not last more than a few minutes.

For what is worth, the company says it has tested the suits “in laboratory conditions which match the measured environment at all stages of spaceflight.“ What's more, each of them will be tailored individually for each of the customers.

And that’s a good thing, given the fact people are expected to pay in excess of $250,000 for a very short trip to the edge of space.

It’s not yet clear when the suits will first see action. The start of commercial operations has been postponed several times, as Virgin is still in the testing stages with the spaceship it is going to use.

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