One small step for man, one giant leap for Megmeister
Posted on June 05 2020
Even the coolest human beings on the planet are not cool enough:
NASA has a problem. Out in space there exists a strange new world where hot air doesn't rise and heat doesn't conduct. The International Space Station's thermal control systems maintain a delicate balance between the deep-freeze of space and the Sun's blazing heat. Without thermal controls, the temperature of the orbiting Space Station's Sun-facing side would soar to 250 degrees F (121 C), while thermometers on the dark side would plunge to minus 250 degrees F (-157 C). How do you keep Astronauts able to function and feeling comfortable under those circumstances? Even more critical: what lessons can we learn from this in producing technical cycling clothing?
The lack of convection in space affects the way body heat and sweat are transported and absorbed into an astronaut’s clothing. Astronauts often report sweating more during exercise in orbit compared to exercise on Earth. Heat envelops their bodies like an aura. Nasa is looking for help to optimise an astronaut’s clothing for future long term mission, such as a journey to Mars.
Nasa needs garments with better thermal and sweat management to maintain the astronauts’ cooling mechanism and reduce microbiological contamination on the spacecraft.
We like technology problems at Megmeister, because their solution often supports the development of new and better technologies and fabrics for sport.
Megmeister’s latest product development
One of our most audacious projects today is to resolve the problem of athletes that overheat, particularly when they exercise in hot weather, and perhaps in high humidity. People overheating is a serious problem and it can have devastating consequences (see our blog on the consequences of riding in hot weather). However, we noticed that overheating is not just a problem of professional athletes. NASA as detailed above, is also looking for similar solutions for their astronauts. ‘The lack of convection in space’ which affects the way body heat and sweat are transported, is similar to the lack of convection experienced by many indoor cyclists that are currently training inside during the CV-19 ‘lock down’. Indeed our ‘Ultra Fris Pro’ product, developed for outdoor use in the heat, has shown that it also works extremely well indoors:
- Cooling: it is noticeable better than the best in class product
- Comfort/wearability: it has a pleasant sensation on the skin
- Sunray protection: garments have high 50+ UVA and UVB protection
- Odour protected: long-lasting protection using our antibacterial properties for this heavy-duty shirt
- Moisture-wicking: as part of the solution
In effect, ‘Ultra Fris Pro’ keeps you cool, stays dry and comfortable, doesn’t give off odours, protects you and looks good too. Remember, style is not optional - ever.
Put your money where your mouth is:
We tested our solution in the lab against the above parameters. Results prove that our jersey actually reduces your body temperature by 1.5- 2 degrees Celsius, even in extremely hot weather. Our ‘Ultra Fris’ specially created print removes heat using a chemical reaction with water. By reacting with the moisture (sweat) produced from the skin, the temperature of the printed fabric drops and you experience a cool sensation. As long as you sweat, the cold feeling continues.
But even with all the results from the lab, encouraging as they are, we still wanted experience out in the field. So we asked Olympic gold medalist MTB Bart Brentjes to test our ‘Ultra Fris Jersey’ during a recent training camp in South Africa. Bart was sceptical, to say the least, but we like sceptics. Let’s cut to the chase... here are Bart’s comments:
“Today I tested your shirt that should keep one cool, it works extremely well! It feels nice on the skin. Even though it was super hot today, 35 degrees plus, I was amazed by the cooling provided by this shirt, absolutely superb, I like the comfortable feeling as well.”
So next stop convincing NASA! We’d love to help them resolve some of their problems as well. We hope to learn something from the process and who knows it might lead to an even better jersey in time. Maybe in the future there’s going to be a ‘Tour de Moon’ and the riders compete for the ultimate price - ‘The Megmeister Moonlight Jersey.’ Keep dreaming! You never know, it’s a challenge for a new Zwift virtual route. Anyway, we have contacted NASA and offered our jersey for testing. Our message was simple:
”Houston we have a solution…” - let’s see what they say!