Adidas partners with International Space Station
today Nov 6, 2019
Adidas is taking its footwear to space. The sportswear giant announced on Tuesday a multi-year partnership with the International Space Station that will allow the company to explore product innovation outside of Earth.
The partnership is scheduled to begin with Adidas’ coveted Boost technology, marking the first time that any footwear innovation will be tested without the distraction of gravity.
These tests outside of Earth’s gravitational pull are predicted to influence the performance and comfort of existing models and enhance innovation of new products.
“The unique conditions of space provide the ideal environment to discover the unknown,” explained Christine Kretz, vice president of program and partnerships of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory.
“For example, microgravity is the only condition in which we can observe specific experiments like the behavior of a spinning soccer ball without interrupting airflow and external supports holding it in place. Having control of certain variables allows us to conduct tests and collect insights that aren’t possible on Earth.”
Testing will begin as early as 2020. Adidas will send its signature Boost pellets and footwear to the ISS National Lab onboard a future SpaceX cargo mission where astronauts onboard the station will execute experiments to uncover if it is possible to produce Boost midsoles with regions of different particle sizes– something that scientists theorize could optimize footwear performance and comfort.
Earlier this year, Adidas did initial testing with soccer balls delivered by the NASA-contracted SpaceX CRS-18 cargo mission in an effort to better understand flight characteristics beyond an Earth-based wind tunnel for future designs.
Next, Adidas also plans to research elements such as human performance and sustainability while leveraging the space station.
Insights from astronauts could allow Adidas to apply potential learnings to athletes, while developments in circular manufacturing could help advance sustainable creation and recreation methods applicable to Earth.
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