General Electric (GE) is commemorating the 1969 moon walk with the sale of 100 pairs of sneakers that they are branding as The Missions. At exactly 4:18 p.m. EDT, July 20, 100 pairs of these limited-edition Missions sneakers went on sale at the cost of just under $197 a pair. Jack Threads, the online marketer, is currently offering these unisex sneakers in men’s sizes only, due to their limited availability. The Missions will be sold on a first-come first-served basis and will be shipped out in September. This limited sale will make a pair of Missions a collectible item very quickly. There are no future plans to sell additional sneakers at this time. On July 20, 1969, at 4:18 p.m., Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon wearing boots manufactured by GE.
A General Electric spokesman, Sam Olstein, their global director of innovation in New York, said that he was very excited about the new commemorative moon boot style sneaker, a modern spin-off of the original. GE has agreed to help promote The Missions within their social media platforms, Instagram and Twitter and their 400,000 followers. The company also offers consumers a 360° look at the new sneaker via Snapchat. Sydney Lestrud, a GE marketing spokesman, said that GE is also looking at other potential marketing platforms and trends in material engineering and fashion.
From 1961 to 1972, General Electric partnered with NASA, employing 6,000 machinists and engineers to create the moon boot soles used by the astronauts. They were able to develop a specialized silicone rubber sole that would allow the astronauts to walk on the moon comfortably in very low temperatures. The research scientists at GE also built Apollo’s radio command modules and other guidance tools. GE is also credited with designing the Lexan polycarbonate plastic used in the bubble helmet worn by the astronauts. Lexan is a very strong, see-through plastic. Forty-five years later, General Electric is still working with NASA by promoting the 1969 landing on the moon with the creation of their commemorative moon boot-like sneaker, The Missions.
Jack Threads, a high-end marketer/portal, and Android Homme, a luxury shoemaker, partnered with General Electric to help design the sneakers. GE’s Missions high-top sneakers have been made using special advanced industrial materials. The moon boot sneakers have a galactic color scheme, using semi-clear plastic soles, colored in earth tones and off-white. The shoe’s base contains small cavities with moon dust-like particles sprinkled inside them that will appear to move as the wearer walks. According to a GE spokesman, the sneakers are coated with a hydrophobic material; it is used in jet engines and wind turbines to prevent ice adhesion. Stabilized carbon fibers, another component of the sneakers, is stronger than metal; this carbon fiber is also used in jet engines and healthcare equipment.
Other features of the sneaker include a metallic coating made of a 3M Scotchlite reflective material, the same material that helps huge machines maintain their durability. GE has created The Missions using Thermoplastic rubber. This rubber is used in large machine manufacture. It helps to improve flexibility, increase absorption and cut down on resistance. General Electric is attempting to draw attention to the high-quality materials being developed in their labs today with the creation of these commemorative moon boot-like Missions sneakers by using those same materials to make them.
By Dennis De Rose