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This airline just built a better airplane pillow with help from NASA

This airline just built a better airplane pillow with help from NASA
[Photo: courtesy of Air New Zealand]

If you ever need a break from all this *gestures broadly* and have exhausted all of the internet’s cute cats and videos of soldiers reuniting with their dogs after long tours of duty, google pictures of astronauts sleeping for a quick mood boost.

Thanks to the lack of gravity, when astronauts bed down for the night, they don’t bed and they don’t down. Instead, they sleep in bags of sorts that are tethered to the wall or ceiling so they don’t float off or bump into something with hair floating around them and arms drifting upwards. While the results are humorous, there is no doubt that those astronauts are sound asleep.

Now Air New Zealand is using some of that space tech to help flyers on their long-haul planes get a good night’s sleep, too. The airline is the first in the world to send passengers to dreamland with an innovative new pillow that uses technology originally developed for astronauts. The pillow is coated with a product called Outlast, “which was developed for use in space gloves to protect against extreme temperature fluctuations and keep hands cool,” according to the release.

What do space gloves have to do with your pillow? Well, the technology helps keep your pillow nice and cool by absorbing heat as the skin gets hot, so there’s no need to wake up and flip to the cool side. If you get too cold, the pillow will release the heat it collected and warm you up. In addition to being ready for space travel, it’s good for the Earth, too, as it’s made in a carbon-neutral process by German bedding company Paradies, which holds climate protection and sustainability at the core of its business.

Want to test the pillow? Hop aboard Air New Zealand and pony up for Business Premier. It’s not cheap, but still less than a ticket to space.

This post has been updated.

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