Virgin Galactic has unveiled the spacesuits its pilots will wear as they fly private astronauts on journeys to space.
Designed in collaboration with the company’s technical spacewear partner, Under Armour, the Virgin Galactic pilot corps will wear the spacesuit and footwear on future flights, including the first human spaceflight from New Mexico, which is due to take place this month with the flight window opening on December 11.
Wearing the spacesuit on the December flight will be Chief Pilot, Dave Mackay and Pilot, CJ Sturckow – who is expected to become the first person to fly to space from three different U.S. States. They are both members of the eight person team in the Virgin Galactic pilot corps.
This design is the latest addition to the astronaut apparel created with Under Armour, which also includes the spacewear system that Virgin Galactic future astronaut customers will wear for their spaceflights.
For the pilots’ suits, the design team followed a brief to create a non-pressurised spacesuit which not only aesthetically conveys the pilots’ role in Virgin Galactic’s mission, but which also practically supports their unique task of flying regularly at over three times the speed of sound into space and back.
Due to these unique requirements, each member of the pilot corps was heavily involved in the design process, providing feedback and wearing test versions of the spacesuit while completing various assignments.
Virgin Galactic is an American British spaceflight company within the Virgin Group. That develops commercial spacecraft and aims to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists and suborbital launches for space science missions.