Cup of Coffee Up in the Space

on-orbit-coffee-cup“Necessity is the mother of invention” is an old axiom. Very true! Flying around the earth on Space Shuttle mission STS-126 Astronaut Donald Pettit did not like having his morning coffee out of an aluminum bag. It is then that he conceived a design for a zero gravity coffee mug. He calls it On-Orbit Coffee Cup. The actual cup was then designed Travis Baldwin.

In the age when missions to space are on the increase, On-Orbit Coffee Cup will allow astronauts to have one of the luxuries they are used to on the earth. At the moment there may not be enough demand for zero gravity coffee cups. But imagine another five decade down the time line; more people may be visiting space and wanting On-Orbit Coffee Cup. No?

How does it work at in zero gravity? Simple. The coffee (or any other liquid) is held by surface tension in the narrow bottom of the cup, the deep groove then acts as a wick that draws liquid up as it is removed. The lip depression should hold the bead of the coffee in place at the top of the groove. What is more, it will be possible to make those thin walls of the cup with disposable materials.

Thank to Astronaut Donald Pettit and designer Travis Baldwin who have made On-Orbit Coffee Cup possible. This may for the basis of many more invention.

More pictures here

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