In honour of International Coffee Day*, here’s an interesting article from NASA about work on the zero gravity coffee cup that allows astronauts to drink coffee in space.
While the “cup” itself brings back memories of a certain childhood iceblock, this work isn’t really about drinking coffee in space – it’s more about investigating how zero gravity affects the flow of various fluids on the International Space Station, and how to maximise fluid dynamics at zero gravity (demonstrated by Commander Chris Hadfield recently: “bags don’t really hold water in space“).
Or, as the following video explains, it really is an effort to ensure “toilets, and air conditioners, and fuel tanks, and recycling systems, all working better thanks to capillary flow experiments on the space station”.
If it’s that time of the afternoon and you feel like falling into an internet rabbit-hole of “doing things in space” videos (like I just did), try the following:
How to wash your hair in space.
How to brush your teeth in space.
How to wash your hands (with soap and water) in space.
Can you cry in space?
And many more.
*International Coffee Day is held “in a handful of countries” on 29 September.