Nasa campers: Camping as functional as a space station – Nasa architect designs caravans


    Garrett Finney designed survival spaces for astronauts, now he constructs highly functional camping trailers for off-road adventures beyond the campsite.

    The normal caravan on the German campsite exudes the charm of a living room from the 1960s with walnut or maple foils. Design models try to reverse the trend with more chic – that usually looks like yacht building or very white.

    But what happens when someone who created living or rather survival spaces for NASA’s astronauts now designs camping trailers?

    Camper as a survival space

    Because that’s exactly what Garrett Finney does. He used to be a Senior Architect at the Nasa Habitability Design Center and works on the ISS, for example. Then he founded Taxa Outdoors. His philosophy has remained the same. “The ISS engineers created something for humans to survive in. And we too had to think about how to survive well,” Finney told Popular Mechanics.

    For the ISS, he analyzed the complicated balance between the energy, efficiency and resource requirements of the space station and crew, and this is how he plans his campers.

    The trailers from Taxa Outdoors are one thing above all: highly functional. With their storage areas and lashing straps, they are reminiscent of military shelters, submarines or even a space station. Color codes and surfaces suitable for Instagram were not considered.

    While in the USA a camper van often cannot be big enough, Finney went a different way and picked up on the off-road camping trend. There is enough space in the USA, but mobile homes that are ten meters long cannot leave the highway and the campgrounds there.

    Unbreakable followers

    “I’ve looked at people with these really big RVs and thought, Wow, I should think about people in small spaces.” First consequence: The trailer must not be heavy. It should be able to be towed by a small camper or mini-van. To move a tiny house, for example, you need a full-size SUV or pick-up truck in the USA.

    Second requirement: The trailers must fit in a normal garage, so that you do not have to rent a parking space in the hall. Height and width are therefore limited. With the Mantis model, Finney also went in the direction of sustainability and dispensed with chipboard and possibly formaldehyde-contaminated materials. Inside he uses birch. The foldable roof of the six meter long Mantis allows a good headroom, the trailer offers space for four adults. The outer wall is made of aluminum and should be able to withstand the torsions of a long off-road life. Taxa-Mobile will last a lifetime, Finney is convinced of that. Then the price of 32,000 US dollars also fits.

    Homepage: Taxa Outdoors

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    Camping as functional as a space station – Nasa architect designs caravans