Creative Soccer Culture

adidas Announce Partnership With The International Space Station

Looking to get away from the restrictions of Earth’s gravity, adidas have announced a multi-year partnership with The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, making them the first brand to explore the boundaries of product innovation, human performance and sustainability in the surroundings of space.

Initially, the partnership between adidas and ISS will focus on product innovation, with the German brand first sending its signature Boost pellets and footwear to the ISS National Lab onboard a future SpaceX cargo mission, with testing to begin as early as 2020. The idea is to see whether it’s possible, away from the distractions of Earth's gravity, to produce Boost midsoles with regions of different particle sizes – something that scientists theorise could optimise footwear performance and comfort.

This is not the first time that adidas will venture out into the great unknown of space to test out their products, having delivered footballs earlier this year, which were tested in a series of experiments aimed to extend understanding of flight characteristics beyond an Earth-based wind tunnel.

The unique conditions of space provide the ideal environment to discover the unknown,” explained Christine Kretz, Vice President of Program and Partnerships of the ISS. “For example, microgravity is the only condition in which we can observe specific experiments like the behaviour 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.

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But adidas’s research won’t just be restricted to product development, with plans to look into elements such as human performance and also sustainability. Future research on the space station applied to adidas’ Loop Creation Process for circular manufacturing could help advance sustainable creation and recreation methods applicable to Earth.

At least we'll be ready when aliens invade and challenge us to an intergalactic game of football...

Daniel Jones

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