Adidas To Test Products On The International Space Station

An out-of-this-world collaboration

We might say that we’re willing to go “to the moon and back” for a special pair of sneakers, but thanks to Adidas you may not even have to travel that far. The brand has just announced a multi-year partnership with the International Space Station (ISS) to explore the boundaries of product innovation, human performance and sustainability – or in other words, to test its sneakers in outer space.

Sneaker designs could benefit from the new research

Adidas will work closely with the US National Laboratory onboard the ISS, managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), to improve design and engineering. The initial phase will see Adidas testing its Boost technology without the distraction of gravity.

Hardware that Adidas will send to the ISS

This partnership could influence the performance and comfort of existing models and inspire new products. Adidas has worked with the ISS before, and in October sent soccer balls into space to explore their flight characteristics beyond an Earth-based wind tunnel.

Boost technology will be tested in space

In future phases, Adidas also plans to research elements such as human performance and sustainability while leveraging the space station. Insights from the strenuous physical training regimen developed for astronauts to endure the harshest of conditions could also allow Adidas to apply potential learnings to athletes.

Adidas soccer ball spinning in zero gravity

James Carnes, vice-president of brand strategy for Adidas, said: “Working with the ISS will help Adidas set new standards in performance innovation. This partnership not only allows us to co-create improvements to sport performance but to explore processes and design that could be applicable to our dedicated efforts in sustainability as well.”

International Space Station

Adidas will send its signature Boost pellets and footwear to the ISS National Lab via a future SpaceX cargo mission, with testing to begin as early as 2020. Astronauts will conduct experiments away from the Earth’s gravity to test the possibilities of producing Boost midsoles with regions of different particle sizes – something that could optimise performance and comfort.

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