Space Cups Give Astronauts a Reminder of Home [Video]

It’s actually kind of challenging to drink liquids in space, so over the years, NASA has given astronauts cups with different designs to perform experiments on, and to play around with. Astronauts having to drinking from plastic bags will most likely soon fade as they transition into using specially-designed space cups. A recent design has shown a lot of promise for providing a more earth-like quaffing experience.

As Engadget reports:

Astronauts can’t really enjoy beverages the way you do here on Earth. They have to drink from a pouch through a straw, which is about as glamorous as sipping from a juice box.

A fascinating article by NASA on this topic states:

Even mundane tasks like taking a drink are complicated in space, where microgravity affects the way fluids behave. Crew members must drink from special sealed bags instead of using straws or normal cups. Capillary Effects of Drinking in the Microgravity Environment (Capillary Beverage) studies the process of drinking from specially designed Space Cups that use fluid dynamics to mimic the effect of gravity.

The space cup uses surface tension, wetting, and cup geometry to replicate how liquids act on Earth. They liquids they have experimented with are water, coffee, tea, juice, cocoa and some others. These experiments will lead to new designs of advanced fluid systems in space, making them more reliable.

 

Sources: 
Engadget.com – “NASA’s Space Cups help astronauts drink like they do on Earth
NASA.gov – “Capillary Effects of Drinking in the Microgravity Environment (Capillary Beverage) – 11.11.15