Ground Control to Adidas: Pack your sneakers and put your helmet on

Adidas is testing sneakers and soccer balls on the International Space Station.

Getty Images
Getty Images

HERZOGENAURACH, GERMANY: Not content with keeping two sneakers on the ground, Adidas is testing its products on the final frontier "without the distraction of gravity."

Aboard the International Space Station, the otherworldly stunt is designed to yield insights that will improve product design and engineering for its footwear and soccer balls for "athletes on and off Earth," Adidas said in a statement.

Having circled Earth in low orbit for 20 years, the International Space Station is a microgravity and space environment research lab.

Claiming it is the first time footwear has been tested in space, Adidas wants to improve the performance and comfort of its "Boost technology" for current models and product innovation for future models. The sports brand hopes this unique environment will prove to be the optimal testing ground.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which is managing the experiments, already delivered Adidas soccer balls to the International Space Station earlier this year through the NASA-contracted SpaceX CRS-18 cargo mission.

Instead of testing flight performance in an "Earth-based wind tunnel," the ball has been tested on the station to better understand "spherical aerodynamics" to adjust their panel shape and texture, a statement said.

However, this campaign will remain in Adidas’ orbit as it continues the tests on human performance and sustainability. The sportswear manufacturer thinks it can apply what it learns from astronaut training to athletes.

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