Between astronauts’ hindered senses, a tight schedule, and unappealing food, focus is drawn away from eating as a group on the ISS and the social experience that comes along with it. Therefore, it is important to create social furniture where the astronauts are encouraged to all ‘sit’ down at a table to create a social dining experience. La Lune Furniture is a belt and specialized table that takes advantage of the microgravity, while also fostering a comforting atmosphere.
How it works: Astronauts clip themselves to both the table and the wall. As they strap themselves in, the table will be pulled to one direction, and is centered when four people are present and attached to La Lune Furniture . Without everyone at the table, someone might be pulled closer to a wall, and maximum comfort is reached once the table is occupied by four people. When the table is fully occupied, LEDs are activated and the table becomes illuminated. This setup forces the astronauts to face each other while eating. They are anchored to the shared space but the harnesses provide flexibility and allows for individualized comfort. The position the astronauts face with a partially empty table would serve as an incentive to eat together, modifying their collective behaviors. Once everyone is fastened to La Lune, they are free to bounce around similar to a baby in a door jumper. This creates a fun and physically engaging experience that the whole crew will look forward to around meals. The ultimate goal is for crews to form closer relationships and enjoy a much needed break after a rigorous day of work.