24 January 2020

Virgin Galactic Unveils Under Armour As Exclusive Technical Spacewear Partner

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Virgin Galactic is proud to announce Under Armour as its Exclusive Technical Spacewear Partner to create a next generation of spacewear and astronaut performance programs.This exciting and exclusive collaboration brings together Virgin Galactic’s mission to make commercial space travel a reality, with Under Armour’s expertise in technical apparel and footwear,  ensuring that astronaut customers and staff are fully equipped to maximise personal performance in a new age of space exploration.

The US brand, famed for performance through technical innovation, is designing and fabricating space suits for Virgin Galactic passengers and pilots, representing a unique commission that demanded personal performance enhancement through a complex blend of safety, utility, comfort and style.The partnership will also see Under Armour create uniforms for Virgin Galactic’s world-class team at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Whether engineers, astronaut trainers and hosts, or mission control operatives, each member of the Virgin Galactic team will be wearing Under Armour apparel specifically chosen to enhance performance and to provide a tangible sense of shared purpose.

As Under Armour crafts the Virgin Galactic collection, it draws inspiration from its strong heritage of innovative performance solutions for some of the world’s top athletes. Under Armour will mimic the holistic approach it takes with those individuals and in addition to apparel will design programs for astronaut physical preparation and recovery with a focus on enhancing mobility, strength, fitness, nutrition, and sleep.

Flying to space will be a profound experience for Virgin Galactic astronauts. After a thrilling high acceleration, rocket-powered, vertical ascent in SpaceShipTwo at more than three times the speed of sound, passengers will be able to leave their seats and experience the freedom of weightlessness while marvelling at spectacular, life changing views of planet Earth from the black sky of space. The custom-fitted Under Armour spacesuits will inspire confidence through comfort and practicality without compromising the natural desire of every Virgin Galactic astronaut both to feel good and look good during this unparalleled life experience.

The full range of apparel and footwear is set to be revealed later this year, ahead of Richard Branson’s inaugural commercial flight.

Richard Branson and founder of Under Armour, Kevin Plank.

Commenting on the Under Armour partnership, Richard Branson said: “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 programs for Virgin Galactic. Our partnership is built on the firm foundations of shared values and it will be an absolute privilege to wear an Under Armour astronaut space suit on Virgin Galactic’s inaugural commercial space flight.”Kevin Plank, CEO, Under Armour said, “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.”For downloadable assets from today’s announcement please visit:Virgin Galactic Press FTP https://www.image.net/virgingalacticUnder Armour Newsroom: https://about.underarmour.com/news/2019/01/under-armour-partners-with-virgin-galactic-2019

CONTACTS

VirginGalacticPress@virgingalactic.comOllie Pratt, Ollie.Pratt@fticonsulting.com, +44 7807 295691Aleanna Crane, Aleanna.crane@virgingalactic.com +44 7395604549

ABOUT VIRGIN GALACTIC

Virgin Galactic is the world’s first commercial spaceline. Founded by Sir Richard Branson and owned by the Virgin Group and Mubadala Investment Group, Virgin Galactic will transform access to space for the benefit of life on Earth. To date, over 600 men and women from over 50 countries—greater than the total number of humans who have ever been to space—have reserved places to fly on Virgin Galactic’s reusable space launch system, consisting of carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo and spacecraft SpaceShipTwo. SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo are manufactured and tested in Mojave, California by its manufacturing partner, The Spaceship Company (TSC). Spaceflight operations will be based at Spaceport America in New Mexico, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

ABOUT UNDER ARMOUR

Under Armour, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland is a leading inventor, marketer and distributor of branded performance athletic apparel, footwear and accessories. Designed to make all athletes better, the brand’s innovative products are sold worldwide to consumers with active lifestyles. The company’s Connected Fitness™ platform powers the world’s largest digitally connected health and fitness community. For further information, please visit  https://about.underarmour.com/.

GEORGE WHITESIDES

GEORGE WHITESIDES

SPACE ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR

George T. Whitesides is the Chair of the Space Advisory Board, where he is responsible for bringing together aerospace leaders to advise the Virgin Galactic senior management team on the journey towards regular commercial spaceflight, developing the next generation vehicles and exploring new opportunities. Previously, George served as the Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic, spearheading the development of future technologies, including high speed, point-to-point travel and orbital flight, after stepping down as CEO in 2020.

George joined Virgin Galactic in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer. During George’s 10 years with the Company, he built the company from 30 people to a workforce of over 900, successfully guiding Virgin Galactic through its human space flight R&D and flight test program, culminating in two space flights. These historic flights saw the first humans launched into space from US soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle, as well as the first woman to fly on a commercial space vehicle. George led the transition of operations from Mojave, California to Spaceport America, New Mexico, and oversaw the company’s successful public listing making it a multi-billion dollar company and creating the world’s first publicly traded human spaceflight venture.

Prior to Virgin Galactic, George served as Chief of Staff for NASA. Upon departure from the American space agency, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.

George’s volunteer service includes Caltech’s Space Innovation Council, Princeton University’s Advisory Council for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the Antelope Valley Economic Development & Growth Enterprise. He is a fellow of the UK Royal Aeronautical Society and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He previously served as Vice Chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, chair of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Working Group for the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of Virgin Galactic, a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies, and the Board of Virgin Unite USA. George has testified on American space policy before the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. An honors graduate of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, George later earned a master’s degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Tunisia. George is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.

He resides in California with his wife Loretta and two children.

CHRIS HADFIELD

CHRIS HADFIELD

SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Colonel Chris Hadfield is a heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and test pilot who has commanded the International Space Station. Formerly NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia and veteran of three spaceflights, Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Hadfield is a three-time NYT bestselling author, a renowned musician, an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo, chair of the board of the Open Lunar Foundation, and host of several internationally acclaimed television series. In addition, Hadfield leads the space stream at the Creative Destruction Lab, one of the world’s top tech incubators.

DR SANDRA MAGNUS

DR SANDRA MAGNUS

SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Sandra H. “Sandy” Magnus is the Principal at AstroPlanetview, LLC. Most recently she served as the Deputy Director of Engineering in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for the Undersecretary of Research and Engineering. In that role she served as the “Chief Engineer” for the Department of Defense establishing engineering policy, propagating best practices and working to connect the engineering community across the department.

Dr. Magnus is the former Executive Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Prior to leading AIAA, she was a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps for 16 years. During her time at NASA she flew in space on the STS-112 shuttle mission in 2002, and on the final shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011. In addition, she flew to the International Space Station on STS-126 in November 2008, served as flight engineer and science officer on Expedition 18, and returned home on STS-119 after four and a half months on board.

Following her assignment on Station, she served at NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Her last duty at NASA, after STS-135, was as the deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.

While at NASA, Dr. Magnus worked extensively with the international community, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as well as with Brazil on facility-type payloads. She also spent time in Russia developing and integrating operational products and procedures for the International Space Station.

Before joining NASA, Dr. Magnus worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company as a stealth engineer. While at McDonnell Douglas, she worked on internal R&D and on the Navy’s A-12 Attack Aircraft program.

Dr. Magnus has received numerous awards, including the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the 40 at 40 Award (given to former collegiate women athletes to recognize the impact of Title IX).

DAVID A. WHELAN

DAVID A. WHELAN

SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Dr. David A. Whelan is the SVP Chief-Scientist of Cubic Corporation. Dr. Whelan retired from Boeing in 2017, as the Vice President, Engineering (BDS) and Board of Directors for HRL Laboratories. Whelan served as Director of the Tactical Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and began his career at Northrop as designer of the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Whelan is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Physical Society and IEEE. He earned his Ph.D. Physics from UCLA; He holds over 75 US patents.