Adidas is ready for liftoff—into space. The brand announced this week that it has made a historic partnership with the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to “explore the boundaries of product innovation, human performance and sustainability” by testing Adidas products and apparel in space.
The multi-year partnership with the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, which is managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space – CASIS, is the first time that footwear innovation will be tested in space, marking a milestone for Adidas and the industry. The brand has already started working in the partnership, as Adidas soccer balls were tested on the ISS National Lab in October 2019.
— adidas Running (@adidasrunning) November 5, 2019
The partnership is broken into phases, with the first phase being focused on product innovation. The Adidas soccer balls were tested in microgravity conditions after being delivered by the NASA-contracted SpaceX CRS-18 cargo mission. Those experiments and testing were “aimed to extend understanding of flight characteristics beyond an Earth-based wind tunnel. Depth in spherical aerodynamics will enable more design freedom for panel shape and texture.”
Adidas’s Boost technology will later also be tested “without the distraction of gravity – which could influence the performance and comfort of existing models and enhance innovation of new products. That testing is expected to happen in early 2020 and will mark the first time that a brand will test footwear innovation in the extreme conditions of space.
“Working with the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory and CASIS – one of the most advanced facilities in the world – will help adidas set new standards in performance innovation,” said James Carnes, Vice President of Brand Strategy for adidas, in a press release. “This partnership not only allows us to co-create improvements to sport performance but to explore processes and design that could be applicable to adidas’ dedicated efforts in sustainability as well.”
Along with the Boost technology, Adidas is planning to research other elements in space, including “human performance and sustainability while leveraging the space station.” Adidas has plans to send Boost pellets and footwear to the ISS National Lab in the future and will test those products and technology with astronauts on the space station.
For more info about the partnership and the work Adidas is doing, check out the adidas.com/ISS site.
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