America's first black space commander, Fred Gregory, in the NASA x OROS C41 Flight Jacket; (photo/Matallana Studios)

NASA x OROS C41 Aerogel Hoodie Honors First Black American Space Pilot

Fred Gregory is a living legend. The first Black American to command a space flight, he also flew 550 combat rescue missions in the Vietnam War. Now, you can wear a hoodie that receives his endorsement.

To put it bluntly, OROS makes fancy clothing. In June, it teased a new “mystery material” it said would mark an apparel revolution.

Meet the C41 Flight Jacket. Using the brand’s SOLARCORE aerogel fabric (which started as NASA technology), the C41 isn’t just warm, it’s also waterproof. And OROS designed its insulation pattern with body mapping to optimize breathability and protection.

Enter Fred Gregory, who’s piloted a spacecraft in orbit three times and logged over 7,000 hours of flight time. OROS tapped Gregory to consult on C41’s design. He also hand-signs an individually numbered certificate of authenticity with each limited-edition jacket.

How cool is that? Here’s a look at the futuristic duds.

OROS SOLARCORE: Spaceship Insulation

oros nasa flight jacket
(Photo/Zach Ancell)

The key insulator in OROS’s C41 fabric actually insulates spaceships. NASA first developed aerogel to protect astronauts inside spacecraft, where the outside temperature plummets to -450 degrees F.

OROS took aerogel and tweaked it, combining it with flexible foam designed to be warm but not bulky, landing on a proprietary tech it calls SOLARCORE. We’ve seen this in puffier jackets, but the iteration in a soft hoodie appears to be new.

C41 uses the technology to create what OROS calls “the most scientifically innovative outerwear in the galaxy (as far as we know).”

The veracity of that claim notwithstanding, the non-bulking factor is very real: OROS claims 2 mm of SOLARCORE insulates as well as a typical down or synthetic puffy. As applied to the C41 Flight Jacket, it’s designed to hug you in the right places with body mapping and move with you with a four-way stretch.

Other Far-Out Features of the C41 Aerogel Hoodie

NASA OROS C41 Aerogel Hoodie detail
(Photo/Zach Ancell)

In a lot of ways, the C41 Flight Jacket is a hoodie. But the differentiation lies in the details.

Two asymmetrical zippers surround the aerogel-insulated kangaroo pocket. Each zipper is two-way, giving you the ability to ventilate your trunk, your neck, or all of it. The zippers are water-resistant, handled by YKK. Inside the waist area, an adjustable strap facilitates a snug fit around the hips.

The constructed hood features a panel in the front to help fight back the wind — or the vacuum of space. Once you’re zipped up in the C41 aerogel hoodie, you’re protected by a blend of 93% nylon and 7% elastane with a (non-specified) PFC-free DWR treatment. And because no hoodie worthy of interstellar missions leaves you without thumb-loop cuffs, OROS builds in extendable ones.

Fred Gregory Flight Jacket Launch Details

The NASA x OROS C41 Flight Jacket launches on Oct. 15. Each jacket comes with the aforementioned certificate, signed by Gregory, and 10% of the purchase price goes to the Astronaut Scholarship Fund.

What does a jacket built with spaceship materials, endorsed by America’s first Black space pilot, cost? Not all that much, considering — MSRP $350 lands the rig.

Interested? Check out the brand’s website for further details.

Fred Gregory in the C41 Aerogel Hoodie
America’s first Black space commander, Fred Gregory, in the NASA x OROS C41 Flight Jacket; (photo/Matallana Studios)
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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.