Under Armour is thinking beyond this planet to develop its next apparel line.
The Baltimore-based brand was enlisted by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic to outfit its mission for commercial space travel.
According to a press release, Under Armour will serve as “Exclusive Technical Spacewear Partner” to the company, working on space suits for passengers and pilots. Branson and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank made the announcement Thursday on CBS This Morning:
NEW: We're announcing a new partnership between @VirginGalactic and @UnderArmour. The performance-wear company will develop space apparel and footwear for astronauts, engineers and fans. It will also create an Astronaut training program that includes fitness and nutrition. ☄ pic.twitter.com/YLhSR6src2
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 24, 2019
Designing and fabricating the suits is “a unique commission that demanded personal performance enhancement through a complex blend of safety, utility, comfort and style,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement. Under Armour is drawing on its work with athletes to factor in mobility, strength, fitness, nutrition, and sleep. Under Armour is also creating an astronaut training program.
Closer to home, the Virgin Galactic team at Spaceport America in New Mexico will also be wearing UA apparel.
“I have followed Under Armour’s progress through a personal friendship with its CEO, Kevin Plank and via the great relationships it has established over the years with various Virgin companies. I’ve loved its determination to push technical boundaries in order to improve performance, so could not have been more pleased when Kevin and his talented teams stepped up to the considerable task of creating a range of space apparel and performance programmes for Virgin Galactic,” Branson said in a statement.
Branson is joined by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in a space race among moguls. With Virgin Galactic, Branson is aiming to provide space travel aboard a six-passenger “spaceplane.” The rocket itself is still in development, having recently completed the milestone of reaching the “edge of space” in December during a test flight. Reports indicate there’s already a waiting list, with 600 people looking to get aboard for $250,000 a seat. But they will all have to wait behind Branson, who wants to don the first UA-made suit on the first flight.
“Working with Sir Richard and Virgin Galactic is an opportunity of a lifetime, one that has the entire Under Armour team across the world excited. This is a great opportunity to test our innovation at the highest level and continue to push the limits of human performance,” Plank said in a statement.
Space travel often brings out advancements that have use on Earth, so it’ll be interesting to track any changes in UA apparel.
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