Coffee-craving astronauts now have hope with a cup that tries to emulate drinking coffee in a non-zero G environment.
Astronauts are already getting their own espresso machine, dubbed ISSpresso, but it’s served in a pouch and you need to drink it with a straw. Not exactly the best experience but drinking any kind of liquid in zero gravity is a challenge outside of straws.
No floating coffee, hooray
Mark Weislogel, a professor from Portland State University along with his research colleague Drew Wollman and high school student Nathan Ott have banded together to help replicate the feeling of drinking from a cup for astronauts.
How do they manage it? By making the cup an odd enough shape to contain the liquid coffee. This shape can help ensure the fluid goes where it’s supposed to without, oh, floating around in space instead of in an astronaut’s mouth.
Various drop tower tests were also done to test out the effects of liquid in micro-gravity environments. The team did concede that certain things would be difficult to replicate in space, such as specific textures and aromatics.
The team presented their findings at the meeting of the American Physical Society. It would have been pretty interesting to see just how the cup would function in space but coffee-deprived astronauts will probably appreciate it most.
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