How To Drink Coffee In Space?
Here on Earth we don’t think about it, but it can be hard to drink your daily cup of coffee in space. Watch a video of the latest invention that will make it easier for astronauts to drink their morning coffee.
It’s Tuesday morning, and with many days ahead of us before it becomes weekend again, most of us probably need a cup of morning coffee to get started on the job again.
Astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) may also need this when they are on a long work day. But it is not so easy to drink coffee when you are in microgravity.
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Gravity is not helpful in space
If the astronauts wanted to drink their coffee, as we do here on Earth, the first problem would already arise when pouring the coffee.
When there is no gravity to pull the coffee down the cup, this seemingly simple task can be very difficult. But if you have had a hard time pouring a cup of coffee, the next challenge will already emerge. How to drink your coffee?
Here on Earth we tip the cup to ourselves and gravity then pulls the coffee into our mouths. But in the room there is no gravity to pull the coffee into the mouth of one, so instead of tipping the cup, you have to shake the cup against your face and hope that some of the coffee breaks free so you can drink it.
Napkin to soak up the liquid
Coffee is not the only fluid that behaves differently in space than on Earth. All fluid behaves in this strange way. Therefore, the space station is a good laboratory to investigate how things behave in space. And especially fluid behaves very differently in space than on Earth.
The astronauts have begun to research whether to get help from other forces when you want liquids to behave like on Earth. One of the forces they examine in detail is the capillary force. If you put the corner of a napkin in a glass of water, the water will rise from the napkin, and it is the capillary force that pulls the water upwards.
Astronauts have worked with this force in an experiment called ‘Capilary Flow Experiment’, where they have invented, among other things, a cup to drink in space.
They hope that in the future it will be possible to apply the principles of this cup to many other areas of the space station.
Below is another video, and that demostrates the future of coffee drinking in space.