Virgin Galactic has just unveiled its pilot space suits and it’s modeled by none other than their pilot themselves namely, Jameel Janjua, Kelly Latimer, and Chief Pilot Dave Mackay.
Are you excited about going into space? The much-awaited space travel for tourists is getting closer each day. In fact, Virgin Galactic, the company that aims to bring space access to the masses has just unveiled space suits its pilots will wear during flights.
While it’s not exactly to be launched just yet, the truth is the suits are set to be worn on December 11 during the company’s test flight. The first spaceflight with a full crew will take place in the new spaceport in New Mexico.
In addition, the test flight was supposedly set last November but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said that the suits were primarily designed for comfort and safety. As a result, designers used strong and lightweight materials.
Moreover, the suit weighs 2.2 pounds or one kilogram with flight-grade fabrics. This ensures that the suits will be able to handle all flight stages, from takeoff to zero gravity. Additionally, pilots experience strong gravity during the launch phase. The pressure is strong enough to press them back into their seats.
For this reason, the fabric needs to be extra strong with some extra layer of cushion around the shoulders. This will protect the wearer against the pressure of the straps which holds them into their seats when they reach the zero-gravity environment.
The suit is made from a knitted fabric designed to regulate the wearer’s body temperature. This is essential since pilots are expected to experience many temperature changes. This includes a hot climate while at the spaceport’s ground in New Mexico.
Likewise, space tourists will wear similar suits during future flights. However, the pilots will have black inserts to identify them from customers. Their suits are distinguishable thanks to the wings logo on the chest.
One of the first pilots to test the suits in the test flight is Dave Mackay. The Virgin Galactic Chief Pilot said, “It’s my honor and the rest of the team to wear these Virgin Galactic Pilot Corps spacesuits. The design was thoughtfully made to ensure they are as functional as it’s practical.
From the first step into the suit, you can instantly sense the vision of our mission. I’m looking forward to wearing my own spacesuit during the test flight and future flights as well. It’s also a great honor for me to share the wonder of space to my team and the future astronauts as well.”