Astronaut pours coffee into a floating space cup, enjoys a sip. Watch

ByTrisha Sengupta
Oct 02, 2023 12:58 PM IST

A video shared on X shows how astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti first tries to drink coffee from a regular cup but fails. She then used the special space cup.

“How do you like your coffee?” This is what the European Space Agency (ESA) tweeted while sharing a video featuring astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. The video shows Cristoforetti demonstrating how astronauts drink coffee while aboard the International Space Station.

The image shows astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti pouring coffee into a space cup. (X/@esa)
The image shows astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti pouring coffee into a space cup. (X/@esa)

“Our astronaut demonstrates how she has her morning coffee in space!” ESA wrote along with the hashtag #InternationalCoffeeDay. The space agency posted the video specially to celebrate International Coffee Day. This day is observed each year on October 1 to celebrate and promote coffee as a beverage.

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The video opens to show Cristoforetti pouring coffee from a packet into a small jar. However, when she tries drinking it, the beverage doesn’t flow out. She then takes out a cup that is specially designed. Again, she goes on to pour coffee into it, and this time she easily drinks it too. A text insert flashing across the screen refers to the specially designed tumbler as a ‘space cup’.

Take a look at this video of the astronaut drinking coffee:

The video was shared on October 1. Since then, it has accumulated close to 2.4 lakh views, and the numbers are only increasing. The share has also received more than 1,900 likes. People posted varied comments while reacting to the video.

Also Read: Astronaut aboard ISS places gummy bears inside floating water bubble. Watch

What did X users say about this video of the astronaut?

“Very cool demonstration,” shared an Instagram user. “Great, now I want my 11 pm coffee after seeing this lol,” joked another. “Beautiful! This is a perfect example that some problems can be solved by using the shape of the material rather than its properties,” commented a third. “Great balance,” wrote a fourth.

About the specially designed space cups:

The microgravity cups are designed to help astronauts on ISS drink coffee, shared NASA in a blog. Turns out, the cups are also a way for the space agency to collect data on “the passive movement of complex fluids as part of the Capillary Beverage investigation.”

“The results will confirm and direct maths models that help engineers exploit capillary fluid physics (capillary fluidics) to control how liquids move by designing containers specific to the task at hand,” NASA further shared.

How does a space cup work?

According to the NASA blog, the central objective of the space cup is to deliver “the liquid passively to the lip of the cup.” Researchers exploited surface tension, wetting conditions, and “the special geometry of the cup itself” to come up with this unique design. The cup was intentionally kept transparent to “observe all of the fluid physics going on in the process.”

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