When they first met in 2007, Ted Southern and Nik Moiseev came from two very different worlds. Nik had spent over two decades working in the Soviet Union and Russia as an engineer of cutting edge garments that would be used to take cosmonauts by Soyuz rocket up to the International Space Station. Ted was an artist and sculptor who had studied at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and worked as an apprentice at a costuming studio in Manhattan. The closest he had come to having a garment of his fly to outer space was at Victoria's Secret fashion shows, where models still wear his impressive angel wings.
But NASA's Centennial Challenge, a competition sponsored by NASA to spur innovation outside of the agency, brought them together as competitors in a peculiar but important competition: to design next generation astronaut gloves. Each glove submitted would be subjected to an American Gladiators-style gauntlet of space suit torture devices, used to test performance under the stresses of outer space. After walking away without any prizes the first time around, the unlikely duo stayed in touch, and decided to team up and start from scratch for the next challenge, two years later.