Defining a paradigm for space tourism.
Virgin Galactic achieved the world’s first commercial spaceflight on Unity 22.
The secret reveal unlocked $450m investment.
Winner: Red Dot, Best of the Best 2021.
Virgin Galactic Spaceship Interior.
We were honoured to collaborate with Virgin Galactic to design the interior of the world’s first commercial spaceship. The relationship between our two companies spans over a decade of collaboration; from the design of the early vision to the definition of the final seat and the revolutionary customer in-flight experience. This unique commission gave us the rare opportunity to help define a paradigm.
Designing the interior of the spaceship has been a collaborative effort with the engineering, commercial and operations teams at Virgin Galactic and the material innovators at Under Armour. A brief that required not only an innovative approach to interior design, materials and micro-gravity usability, but a redefinition of our own design processes.
The interior design of the spaceship was defined through inputs from a wide variety of experts, including doctors, astronaut trainers, pilots, designers, engineers, and future astronaut customers. We conducted extensive research into human interaction and navigation through micro-G, testing our solutions on space test flights and low-altitude parabolic flights.
Colour Material Specification
Schedule of Finish
3D CAD Definition
VR Digital Twin
Customer and Stakeholder Research
Prototype and Testing
Research and Development
Richard Branson and team on Unity 22 - achieved the worlds first commercial spaceflight.
Rounds of iteration in 3D CAD and detailed prototyping validated ideas under a tight schedule. Virtual reality was central to the creative process: by creating a digital twin, teams from across the world could meet, explore solutions and make real-time decisions inside a virtual spaceship.
Virgin Galactic customers want an out-of-seat, weightless experience. The seat is, therefore, designed to manage high G-forces during the rocket ride and optimised for a micro-G environment. The seats recline, both for re-entry and to maximise the space inside the cabin, and the seat belt system is cleverly designed to retract and stow in a micro-G environment for quick reseating.
The materials are soft and comfortable, yet structural and supportive. Blending carbon fibre with engineered foam, 3D knit and technical fabrics, gives a look and feel which speaks of performance and agility. The colour palette has been carefully curated, with blues which conjure celestial spaces, teals inspired by sea waters and golden metallics inspired by luminous desert sands, grounding us back to earth.
The cabin is the centrepiece of Virgin Galactic’s unique customer journey. A space suitable for a micro-G experience, the functional requirements are perfectly balanced against the emotional needs of the passengers. Safety, weight and personal tailoring were key drivers in an ambition to create a new space aesthetic.
The cabin liner is made from soft, lightweight engineered foam which provides protection and manages the cabin's acoustics and temperature. The window surrounds double as handholds and the dark-knitted finish blurs the boundaries between inside and out, optimising the view of earth from space. Every touchpoint has been designed to have intuitive usability. Cameras are positioned throughout the cabin to capture the perfect shot and a giant mirror on the aft bulkhead gives passengers an analogue memory of their time in space.