Designers are creating smart clothing and beginning to push the boundaries of utility for the next generation’s pioneers who plan to leave Earth for Mars.
Private companies are latching onto fashion trends that seem to move in the direction of the nascent space apparel market. And space companies are prepared to meet them half way. Virgin Galactic conscripted Adidas and Japanese designers Yohi Yamamoto to partner and design a new kind of space suit that will let tourists withstand spaceflight while looking fly. And SpaceX has pulled in model Karlie Kloss to show off duds being created by legendary costume designer Jose Fernandez.
Meanwhile, NASA is revamping their spacesuits to allow astronauts to move around on the surface of other worlds more safely and comfortably. In case it wasn’t already obvious, this new design is in line with the agency’s current focus to send astronauts to Mars - and allow them to live and work in a permanent outpost on the red planet.
This is significant because settlers will need specialised clothing to facilitate their day-to-day activities on other planets. The notion of a good-for-all-season uniform ceases to make sense when behaviors become too varied. There will need to be varieties of clothes outfitted with varieties of technologies. We can reasonably expect different types of devices to run these different garments as closed systems. A good example of the hardware required to accomplish this actually debuted at New York Fashion Week this year. Intel’s Curie Module incorporates bluetooth, a gyroscope, motion sensors, batteries, and 80 kilobytes of RAM. For the moment, it makes dresses light up. It could do much more.