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Furniture for space!

Students at Rice University have built a chair and table expressly designed for use in a low gravity environment like the Moon or Mars.

The students interviewed astronauts to get an idea of what was needed, and did the design under NASA supervision. Their design is clever in that it can be packed easily, but I still wonder about the weight of transport. I don’t see the first explorers to Mars being able to afford bringing their furniture with them. I expect they will instead figure out ways to improvise chairs and tables from the materials on hand.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • ralph

    I thought they were gonna make everything with their 3D printers… ;-)

  • Pzatchok

    Let me just say that looked a bit over engineered.

    Do you know what one of the things Henry Ford did when building his model T car?

    He ordered the wooden crates that carried his motors before assembly to be built to a specific design.

    When the crated motor showed up and was pulled out of the box the box was already a specific dimension and had specific hand holds cut into it. They broke it down and each side then became the floor boards to the car. With the holes already cut out for the floor pedals, steering column and shifters. They just screwed them down and they were done.
    He was already paying for the box so why not use it for something on the car?

    Redesign the shipping crates they use so they can be broken down into their flat sides for compact storage.
    Then you have all those ‘flats’ to make your furniture out of.
    A few universal connectors and some screws and your done.
    Use the cargo straps to strap them to the floor.

    Or use the flats as partition walls, or replacement wall panels, beds, shelving, or put back together as shipping crates.

    Your already paying the weight cost for the shipping crates why not design them for a second purpose.

    How about their everyday work clothing? Make them all natural fibers so that after they are finished being used leave them up there to be ground up and used as a soil amendment.
    So that in a few years when we eventually need it it will already be in orbit and waiting.

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