Whether many of us know it or not, space clothing has affected our apparel. Technologies discovered for the use in space have proven useful in many pragmatic ways for clothing here on Earth. And this is particularly true for any sports enthusiast, pilot, or even firefighter. Here is the area of fashion that we see with the most influence from space clothing, likely due to the fairly extreme conditions certain sports cause people to be in.
For sports enthusiasts, you can see NASA based technologies in thermal gear that keeps people warm in extreme cold. This is excellent for skiers, snowboarders, ice fishers, and even hunters.
This gear, from coats, to what are called base layers – the very bottom layer of clothing that you start with, generally skin tight, and wick water away from the skin to reduce the body’s exposure to moisture – are designed with the same type of technology that is used to keep astronauts from freezing in the subzero temperatures of space.
Water resistance is another very important part of both space clothings and that of a cold weather sports enthusiast. The fastest way to hypothermia and the real risk for bodily harm is to get wet in cold temperatures. This is why the latest space age technologies are being used in cold weather sporting gear. Materials that are water resistant, or wick water away from the skin to the surface of the garment, help keep vital body heat where it belongs.
For pilots, jackets worn during flight have long been inspired by that of astronauts. While they may not endure quite the extremes that an astronaut faces, they must deal with much colder temperatures, incredibly fast winds, changes in pressure due to altitude, and so on.
These are things that astronauts must deal with too, so the technology has translated well.
A fire on a space craft could be ultimately fatal for everyone on board, so advanced research in fire retardant materials has been done to ensure that the least amount of flammable materials are on board as possible. This has led to rapid advances in the technology of a lot of firefighters gear and it has ultimately saved the lives of many of our countries finest.
From sport, to flight, to saving families from burning buildings, space cadet clothing has left its mark on society by sharing its technologies to make the things that we either love or simply need to do much safer experiences. As space clothing technology continues to advance, so too will the applications for this technology elsewhere.