Sat, Nov 29, 2008
Can A Starbucks Onboard The ISS Be Far Behind?
Nevermind $100,000 toolbags and
troublesome water reclamation units. NASA
Astronaut Don Pettit (below) has come up with a REALLY useful
invention: a zero-gravity cup that allows spacefarers to enjoy
their coffee properly.
Reuters reports Pettit -- a former flight engineer on the
International Space Station, who is also part of the current
STS-126 crew onboard Endeavour -- came up with the idea by
tinkering with a sheet of transparent plastic, folding it into the
shape of an airplane's wing and then taping the sides together.
He perfected the device while onboard the ISS this month, so he
could enjoy his coffee as he normally would on Earth.
"The way this works is the cross-section of this cup looks like
an airplane wing. The narrow angle here will wick the coffee up,"
Pettit explained in a NASA TV video conference. "We can sip most of
the fluid out of these cups and we no longer have to drink our
beverages sucking through a straw in a pouch."
Pettit's self-made sippy cup has become a hit with his fellow
astronauts. On Thursday, he constructed another cup for fellow crew
member Stephen Bowen... and both men used their cups to toast
Pettit's Thanksgiving proclamation, which included giving thanks
for space exploration and "just because we're in space and we
Should Pettit's cup design win favor with NASA (which may be
a long shot... given that it's a simple, elegant, and inexpensive
solution -- Ed.) it could become part of the
normal equipment complement onboard the agency's spacecraft, and
And that's an idea that's easy to swallow... even knowing that
coffee may be brewed with recycled urine.
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