Chair for Martian Environment

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Context

The greatest challenge in planning and designing Mars habitats is that anything delivered from Earth must travel to the Martian surface on an extensive, expensive transportation system.
The question about how we outfit Martian habitats with efficient furniture has not been widely addressed yet. Earth-based Mars analog habitats where participants imitate life and work on Mars (e.g. NEEMO underwater facility, the HI-SEAS facility in Hawaii, the Mars Desert Research Stations in Utah, etc.) are furnished with wooden tables and metal-framed elements that can be easily found in everyone’s house.

It is unlikely that our everyday life furnishings will be utilized in space habitats. Furniture in surface habitats is one of the main mass contributors, taking up around 20-30% of a habitat volume. To foster the unfolding of human-crewed space missions, furniture must be as compact and light as possible.
It costs $783 000 to send one office chair to Mars. *A typical office chair weighs 6.6 pounds, and it cost 118.6k$ per pound to send a payload to Mars (An Atlas V 541 costs ~235M$)
SUMMARY

Cost-effective approach for Mars furniture

Client

Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture

DATE

2019

Concept

Space Architecture defines behavior.
Therefore, our research focused on the creation of furniture, which follows the ergonomics of a person on the Martian surface while accommodating human well-being, featuring textures, colors, and lights that mimic

Our project took a twenty-six-foot habitat with pre-integrated engineering systems. We examined opportunities to outfit the ultimate small space of the extraterrestrial environment with furnishing elements that could be arranged in a flexible and multifunctional way.

Our research aimed to create a series of flexible furniture that could transform the habitat for various use-cases, adapting to conflicting work modes (independent work, conference tag-ups, social gathering, and dining), thereby breaking the monotony of the small volume. 
The usage of deployable multipurpose desks, chairs, and a galley fitted in the generic Mars habitat increased the flexibility of the interior volume and diminished mass, volume, and the overall cost of the mission. Complementing space habitats with easily maintainable materials like anti-microbic surfaces promotes the thoughtful use of limited water resources.
SUMMARY

Cost-effective approach for Mars furniture

Client

Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture

DATE

2019

Concept

Biomechanical posture is the primary driver of designing any furniture.
Regarding biomechanical posture and anthropometry for the Martian environment, the actual measurements and proportions of the human body would be the same as it is terrestrially on Earth. The body’s shape and size would not change, but it might have some spinal elongation – less than 3 percent of what zero-g creates.

However, the microgravity environment of Mars, with 37 percent of Earth’s gravity (3.711 m/s² as opposed to 9.8 m/s²), will certainly affect the posture and comfort of certain poses or positions. The dynamic movement would also be affected, so walking or running would differ, as it does on the Moon, but to a lesser extent since Mars has more gravity than the Moon (1.62 m/s²).

SUMMARY

Cost-effective approach for Mars furniture

Client

Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture

DATE

2019

Design

Deployable Adjustable Workstation
Workstations are a core aspect of furniture design since astronauts will spend most of their time working for up to 8-9 hours. The workplace should be efficient with space occupation, easy to use, maintained routinely, and ergonomic with biomechanical posture.

Our workstation is a deployable system that works in three modes: fast tag-ups, independent work, and social gathering. Our Deployable Adjustable Workstation also serves as a piece of collaborative furniture that helps ideas flourish.

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Ultralight Collapsible extendable Chair
The chair height adjusts to the workstation height depending on what tasks are performed in a given time. When the workstation stands still, the saddle chair gives a tall, wide stance emulating horseback riding. The benefit of this posture is that opening the angles of one’s hips and knees, encourages a spine into its most natural and comfortable curve.

Living in a low gravity environment leads to the dissolution of muscles and bones. To reduce these physiological impacts and allow a safer return to Earth, the chair design revises a way of sitting. By utilizing the 110-degree trunk-thigh angle with our chair design, its resting position keeps a slight imbalance, forcing the use of the back muscles and legs, thus preserving their integrity. Even if this system is more subtle than active exercises and electrical impulsions, it is an additional noninvasive solution.

This chair’s human-centered design offers healthier sitting postures making it the perfect complement to an adjustable standing workstation. The plus-shaped back of the seat makes for comfortable backward or sideways sitting. The contoured saddle seat opens the hips for a more active, forward posture, leaving a lot of space at the back of the chair for traditional sitting.
The chair can be utilized for different heights of countertops, and the sitting angle can be changed up to the preferences of the crew members. It takes only two cubic meters to stow four chairs, resulting in 1.5 pounds of weight that is 75 percent lighter than a typical office chair.

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The chair is made of carbon fiber telescopic poles to secure different positions; UHMWPE connectors integrate poles under compression, adding more rigidity with less material.;

The polyurethane foam seat is made to be lightweight and doable at the same time, with silicone foot pads that keep the chair from sliding. The seat upholstery is made of nylon fabric mixed with Merino wool that possesses excellent strength and abrasion resistance, simultaneously keeping the upholstery antimicrobial. The chair upholstery features texture finishings designed to awaken the tactile senses of the crew, compensating for the lack of opportunity to experience nature and human touch.
SUMMARY

Cost-effective approach for Mars furniture

Client

Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture

DATE

2019