We’ve all heard about the technology spinoffs from NASA to our everyday lives. Things like memory foam, freeze-dried food, firefighting equipment, emergency “space blankets”, DustBusters, cochlear implants, various computer and medical technologies, turning trash into oil, and putting better bubbles in our beer. (Oddly enough – not some things you’ve often heard mentioned – not Tang, Velcro, or Teflon.)
In this age of budget cuts, NASA wants you to know these spinoffs contribute to America’s economy by generating billions of dollars in revenue and creating thousands of jobs.
Now IKEA, the maker of cheap and chic furniture, is sending some of its designers on a trip to the Mars Society’s simulation habitat in Utah.
Truthfully, this sounds more like hype than research. The designers will only spend three days playing colonists. If they really want a feel for living in cramped quarters with little privacy or comfort, I’d recommend at least a month. But maybe contemplating a few conveniences for future explorers will help today’s apartment dwellers.
Less trendy but more important spinoffs are coming too – exploring farming on Mars may help us get more nutritional bang for our energy buck in drought-stricken regions on Earth. In the meantime,
…if IKEA can design a clothing storage system that works well inside a Martian habitat, it can certainly design a clothing system that works well inside your horrible apartment in Brooklyn.
Watch for their new collection in 2019.
Until humans step foot on the Red Planet, science fiction is your only route to Mars. Try my on Mars series – the first colonist take a one-way trip in the near-future. Start with Glory on Mars – Emma wants to explore and make a home on Mars with the first dozen colonists, but something is terribly wrong on the Red Planet.
You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords.