A new space-saving furniture trend is sweeping the US, and it’s all thanks to a $4.7m (£2.4m) NASA Space Center Houston facility.
The new furniture, which has already been used on the space station, has been made of plastic that can be recycled.
The project, called Space Saving Furniture, was announced at the Space Center’s annual event.
“We’re creating a product that’s going to save our future,” said Space Saving founder and CEO David Worsley.
The company was founded by former NASA engineer and space veteran Chris Krosnick, who has been helping the space agency improve the quality of its space furniture since 2012.
Mr Krosnik says the space centre’s new space furniture will reduce waste and improve the health of the astronauts and crew on the ISS.
“It’s all about saving lives,” he told Al Jazeera.
“What we’re doing is designing things that can last a long time, that are not going to break down.”
In 2017, NASA awarded the company $4,000,000 for the Space Saving furniture, and another $1.5m for another year of space furniture production.
The firm plans to make around 50,000 Space Saving Space Furniture pieces a year by 2020.
The space centre is building a new warehouse that will house the furniture, as well as an online marketplace for space saving furniture.
This year, Space Saving bought a $3.2m machine that can cut plastic, which is used for most of the Space Station’s furniture, in half, creating a plastic version of the space-savings furniture.
The machine is now used on both the station and on the International Space Station, where the International Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has declared that plastic is not a sustainable material.
“You have to take into account the environmental impact,” Mr Worski said.
“And what we’re seeing right now is a lot of plastics being thrown out and that’s what’s happening with the Space Centre, as you can see from their waste streams.”
The space center is also planning to install new recycling technology that will be able to reuse plastic in the new plastic version.
Mr Worsky said the Space Space Foundation was funding the project with a $500,000 grant from NASA, but that the Foundation had not been involved in any of the construction.
“The Space Foundation has not provided any funds, or even received any support from the Space Centers, or any other entities in any way,” he said.
The Space Saving Fashions project will cost $25,000 a piece and will last two years.
“They’re creating space furniture that will last for decades,” Mr Kroski said, “and it’s not just for the space centres, it’s for space workers, astronauts and astronauts and their families.”
Space Saving Furnitures is not the first company to use plastic for space furniture.
In February, American furniture maker H&M announced it was using plastic from its recycled recycling program to make its space-inspired furniture.