NASA’s Space Cup Holds Liquids Without Gravity

Drinking in space is typically tricky, as liquids separate into droplets without Earth’s gravitational pull. However, researchers at NASA have devised a way to drink from an open-top cup without gravity or a straw. The Space Cup, part of NASA’s Capillary Flow Experiment, combines cup geometry and fluid dynamics to allow astronauts to sip liquids as if on Earth. Designed by astronaut Don Pettit, physicist Mark Weislogel and mathematicians Paul Concus and Robert Finns, the cup features channels that run throughout, including from the bottom to its rim. As liquid is piped into the container, it flows into the channels and builds near the bottom of the vessel through capillary action—a property found in liquids that occurs because water has a sticky quality that allows it to bind together. When astronauts sip from the cup, the liquid is drawn to their mouths which dictates the quantity of liquid consumed. Learn more about the innovative design and view it in action at Mashable.

Image courtesy of NASA