NASA has introduced its new “Space Cup” project that will make it easier to drink coffee or a similar beverage in space.
Astronauts living in space have demonstrated many different and strange ways of eating and drinking fluids many times in the past. Now, however, NASA seems to have figured out how to have a more earth-like coffee experience with the futuristic Space Cup it recently introduced.
NASA has been working on this issue for decades. According to Chip and NASA reports, these Space Cups are specially designed using fluid dynamics concepts to mimic the effects of gravity in space. The demo video shows astronaut Nicole Mann pouring coffee from a purse into the Space Cup. Afterwards, it is seen that the liquid does not spill out of the mug even when she turns the mug upside down.
The demonstration is part of NASA’s Capillary Flow Experiment, and the agency has been working on futuristic space technology for over a decade. The patent for this technology, obtained in 2011, is shared between astronaut Don Pettit and mathematicians Paul Concus and Robert Finns.
Rather than relying on gravity, the agency says the specially designed cup “uses the combined effects of surface tension, wetting, and vessel geometry,” allowing astronauts to drink the liquid with ease. All astronauts have to do to drink the liquid is to rest their mouths against the narrow top of the Space Cup, and then the drink is automatically drawn into their mouths due to capillary action.