Final Frontier Design was founded in 2010 on the winnings of NASA's Astronaut Glove Challenge with the goal of developing safety garments to enable human travel to space.
From the outset, our cornerstone has been new technology and materials solutions. Commercial space requirements of comfort, aesthetics, cost, weight, and adjustability inform our designs, while we strive to meet the stringent engineering standards of NASA’s historical suits. FFD’s short term goal is to provide flight-ready space suits for a variety of space access providers, while developing spin off garments for use here on Earth and throughout the solar system.
Since 2010, FFD has been awarded four SBIR grants, an official Space Act Agreement with NASA, its first NASA fixed-price contract in 2015, and a Flight Opportunities Program grant for microgravity testing in 2017. In that time, FFD has built 7 individual space suits representing four distinct generations of improvements.
We are currently augmenting technology for our fourth generation space suit intended for analog environment testing, high-altitude flight and future manned spaceflight.
FFD also develops safety solutions for first-responders and other technical applications alongside public experiences supporting space and science tourism.
As a private design studio, we are proud member of the NewSpace industry and it is our privilege to craft safety garments for the future of space travel.
FFD Lead Designer and Engineer – brings over 20 years of space suit experience from the Russian space suit agency, Zvezda, and is one of the few engineers to work with all of the current in-service space suit designs, including America’s EMU and ACES, and the Russian Orlan and Sokol. Nikolay is our Chief Engineer and Designer, and one day plans to put an FFD suit on Mars.
President of FFD, artist, and designer – began his career in aerospace by entering the NASA Astronaut Glove Challenge in 2007 as part of his MFA thesis at Pratt Institute. In 2009, Ted and Nik took home a cash prize and created FFD from the winnings. Prior to space, Ted’s work focused on technical garments for movies, theatre, and television including wings for Victoria’s Secret and costumes for Cirque du Soleil.
Industrial Designer, Suit Training Specialist & all-around Swiss Army knife – joins the team with a diverse background in user experience, startups, and higher-ed consulting. Throughout his career Virgil has always focused on the human element, emphasizing learning, ease of use, and communication. Virgil holds a Master of Industrial from Pratt Institute and Bachelor of English from Yale University.
Chief Patternmaker and Manufacturing – joins FFD after working as an independent Garment Designer for dance, art, film, and fashion in Philly & NYC for 6+ years. Katie’s costumes have been shown in performances for artist Julia Wolf (Pulitzer Winner Composer), Wangetchi Mutu (Visual Artist), and Crispin Glover (Director- Actor). In addition to FFD, Katie is also an Adjunct professor in the Fibers Department at her alma mater MICA.