Virgin Galactic shows off spacesuits for private astronauts

CNET | 10/16/2019 | Erin Carson
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A look at the latest in space wear.

In preparing to go into space, at least Virgin Galactic's private astronauts won't have to worry about what to wear.

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Virgin Galactic and Under Armour showed off their astronaut apparel Wednesday in Yonkers, New York at an iFly Indoor Skydiving location.

The total apparel package includes a base layer, footwear, spacesuit, and training suit, as well as a Limited Edition astronaut jacket. The spacesuit itself is made of "lightweight flight-grade fabrics" that will help manage temperature and moisture. While Virgin Galactic didn't get too far into the details, it said in a release the training suit will "help to optimize the effectiveness of astronaut preparation."Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told the crowd the suits are made from 8 commercial Under Armour technologies. The bottoms are made of yarn in order to squeeze astronauts' legs and keep the blood flow above the waist.

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CNET's Bridget Carey is onsite for the event. Carey said a packed blue-lit room of journalists and "future astronauts" watched folks decked out in the suits float in a tube used to simulate skydiving. Branson even stepped into the tube in his suit, but didn't go airborne.

Virgin Galactic is out to tackle space tourism. The company's been building its SpaceShipTwo, which is a suborbital spaceplane that will be used to carry passengers. Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides has said operations could actually start in Spring 2020. In August, folks got a first look at Spaceport America in New Mexico, which will house mission control, a briefing room and lounge.

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In creating these pieces, Virgin Galactic said it consulted with a number of experts on the design including doctors, astronaut trainers, pilots, apparel and footwear designers, as well as engineers and the folks who will actually be wearing this getup.

(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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