An portion of the Nova-C lunar lander in pictured with Columbia Sportswear and Intuitive Machines logos.
TECHNOLOGY

Columbia’s Omni-Heat Infinity™ Is So Warm It’s Going to Outer Space

Columbia’s ultra-warm winter jacket technology will provide thermal insulation for the Nova-C lunar lander
BY RACHEL CAVANAUGH
Columbia Sportswear’s winter jackets are designed to keep you warm in the most brutal conditions on the planet. But an upcoming space mission will test the company’s cutting-edge innovation off the planet—from the surface of the moon, to be exact.

Intuitive Machines, a Houston-based space exploration company, will be using the brand’s ultra-warm Omni-Heat™ Infinity (OHI) insulation to outfit its Nova-C lunar lander in an upcoming mission to the moon. The gold-colored heat-reflective technology currently used for lining in many of Columbia’s winter jackets and other apparel will provide thermal insulation to the small spacecraft to help protect it from the harsh temperatures of space.

“We tested the OHI fabric to make sure that it was durable at the low and high temperatures that it will experience,” explained Dr. Haskell Beckham, Columbia’s VP of innovation. “We also tested it to make sure that no condensable gases were emitted under vacuum.”

The winter apparel technology passed the rigorous tests and launched aboard the Nova-C Lunar Lander on February 15, 2024.
An outdoorsman adjusts the lining on his Omni-Heat Infinity winter jacket.
The same gold Omni-Heat Infinity technology used in many of Columbia Sportswear’s winter jackets, hats, gloves, and other outdoor apparel will provide thermal insulation for Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander.
Omni-Heat™ Infinity is the latest of Columbia’s NASA-inspired heat-reflective technology, which relies on a matrix of foil dots to reflect heat and trap warmth. In items like jackets, hats, gloves, and other outdoor clothing, the reflective liner adds warmth while skiing, hiking, camping, or simply walking around town in the cold weather. In the Nova-C spacecraft, it will provide thermal insulation in temperatures that can range from negative 250 degrees F to positive 250 degrees F.

The extra-warm jacket lining was originally inspired by NASA space blankets. “The heat-reflective materials used in Columbia’s jackets to keep people warm are built from the same basic components as multilayer insulation blankets used to protect parts of spacecraft,” Beckham explained.

The Nova-C lunar lander, set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will be delivering small payloads to the moon during its 21-day mission to carry out testing and process some of the moon’s natural resources.

The mission will mark the United States’ first visit to the surface of the moon in 50 years.
Need a warm winter coat? Check out Omni-Heat™ Infinity’s NASA-inspired jackets for yourself.